The Sustainability Council met on 12-13-22 and discussed the following agenda:
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- 5.2 Reduce Landfilled Waste
- iCAP 2020: Illinois Climate Action Plan
Key Objective: 5.2 Reduce Landfilled Waste
The iCAP 2020, objective 5.2 is: “Reduce the total campus waste going to landfills from 5,049 tons in FY19 to 4,544 tons or less in FY24, which is a decrease of at least 10%.” The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is F&S. Progress is tracked in the iCAP Portal project page for Zero Waste.
Total campus waste going to landfills
In FY19, the university (including the South Farms) generated 5,049 tons of waste — the combined weight of 1,000 Alma Mater statues. With an improved waste collection infrastructure, we plan to cut this amount by 10%, to 4,544 tons per year, by FY24.
Our strategy for this objective is contingent upon determining the largest campus waste-producers and targeting our reduction efforts to those locations. With data from waste collection trucks, we can identify the top five waste-producing buildings and provide “reduce, reuse, and recycle” training to their units.
To incentivize waste reduction, we will explore options for buildings, businesses, commercial areas, and organizations to compete to produce the least total amount of waste. This objective will also be communicated in the dining halls to encourage consciousness of minimizing food waste.
Additional work will be done to eliminate single-use containers from the dining halls and disposable items (e.g., plastic bags and straws) from campus. Bevier Café currently has a system of reusable containers which allows students to take a to-go container with their food and return it at their next visit. In addition to minimizing waste generated by buildings and their units, we plan to explore innovative, research-based solutions that take advantage of the university’s network of expert investigators and its ability to function as a “living lab.”
A study was conducted to analyze the impact of incorporating post-consumer pizza boxes in the recovered fiber stream. More specifically, factors such as grease and cheese were primarily observed.