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Projects Updates for Topic: ISTC


  1. Update on the Illini Gadget Garage

    Members of the Purchasing, Waste and Recycling Sustainability Working Advisory Team (SWAT),

    The main reason for my note though, is to provide an update on the Illini Gadget Garage (IGG) project. As you know, ISTC decided it would no longer be coordinating the project, and there was some uncertainty about its future. I’m pleased to say that for now the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning will be exploring “adoption” of the project on a trial basis, beginning next semester. I’ve copied Jamie Nelson and Jim Wentworth of CITL, who will be leading that effort, along with Amanda Elzbieciak, the IGG workshop manager, who has graciously agreed to work with CITL to host some pop-up repair workshops at the innovation spaces in the Armory, and to help with recruitment of volunteers and training. While the workshop space will still be at the IGG’s disposal for storing equipment, etc., next semester, CITL will focus project activities in its spaces at the Armory.

    So the project will continue in some capacity next semester. Whether it continues beyond that point will depend on many factors related to how well it ends up fitting with CITL’s core mission. I’ve also copied my original collaborators in launching the project, William Bullock and Martin Wolske, just so you all are familiar with the names of key people associated with the project and its history. Jamie and Jim, the PWR SWATeam, along with Morgan White, have been very supportive of the IGG project, and they are charged with making recommendations to the iCAP Working Group related to the campus’ waste reduction and prevention goals. At some point next semester, you may wish to discuss any challenges the project might be facing with the SWATeam, for feedback and guidance, or at least to help spread the word about pop-ups and other activities.

    There is nothing further to report for now, and CITL will want to work with Amanda to consider how best to announce their involvement next semester. I simply wanted to let this committee know the status of the situation, and say that I will work with Amanda after the winter break to ensure the transition is smooth. I look forward to seeing how this progresses and hope to see more efforts to foster reuse and repair on campus, in addition to recycling. Thanks to everyone who helped get the project to this point.

    Happy holidays!



    Joy Scrogum

    Sustainability Specialist

  2. ISTC policies for IT

    At ISTC computers are required to be at least EPEAT Bronze rated.

    There is mention of EPEAT Bronze in the legislation at the State level—see Note that the phrasing in this is a little odd because some of the products mentioned (e.g. mice, VCRs, etc. ) aren’t part of the EPEAT registry. But since a wide variety of people (i.e. people who are not campus procurement personnel) may purchase equipment, office supplies, etc., and not be aware of what EPEAT is, let alone that the state has expectations related to it, it’s perfectly possible that there are researchers or IT professionals who are buying items for University use with little thought about EPEAT.

    Procurement would have to confirm whether or not non-EPEAT related computers, laptops or tablets were available from vendors in UI punchouts in iBuy.

  3. Shantanu is adding two Lab buildings for glove recycling

    Associated Project(s): 

    Blake Ashley from Kimberley Clark spoke with Shantanu Pai.  Blake said they thought we are doing Labs, and Shantanu is going to work on implementing it at RAL, CLSL, and Housing.  Tanya from Fisher is working with Shantanu on this project.  RAL has a meeting being scheduled on June 23.

  4. Update from Shantanu Pai

    Associated Project(s): 

    Shantanu Pai and Madeline (an ISTC intern) are taking over the implementation of the Nitrile Glove Recycling program at Housing Dining Services, after Seth Reints left the university.  Shantanu has 24 containers that can hang on the edge of Dining's slim containers.  Dawn Aubrey also needs containers that hang on the edge of the larger brute containers.  Madeline has created a 3-D printed prototype, which will be sent to Shantanu's contact in Canada for replication.

    Morgan provided Shantanu with the information that Seth had received or provided to SSC. 

  5. Billion Gallon Water Challenge

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is spearheading an initiative called the “Billion Gallon Water Challenge” to preserve and protect water resources in Illinois.

    We have just completed an RFP for water conservations projects and will fund, through our sponsored research grant program, a number of companies and organizations and municipalities to help reach our goal to save 1,000,000,000 gallons of water in Illinois. We will also be conducting outreach and technical assistance to these entities to assist with their water-saving ideas and projects.

    In addition, we are encouraging the people of Illinois to join the challenge by making a personal pledge at the Billion Gallon Water Challenge website: So join in the Challenge; take the pledge today and let us know how you will help save water!  And spread the word to your friends to join, too!

    ISTC is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  6. ISTC Campus Water Use Study

    This proposal looks to reduce the usage of water on campus by conducting a study of the “true cost” of water used campus. The project first seeks to determine the quantity of water used and extrapolate the “true cost” of this water. From this point, the project wishes to study the quality of water currently being discharged as “blowdown” with the hope of finding a mechanism of reuse. With this data, pathways of water consumption reduction are expected to be identified. The identification of said pathways will allow for examination of differing methods of water use reduction. Following this, mechanisms of reuse of wastewater in areas such as landscape irrigation will be studied. The project is expected to then result in the ability of water to be reused in whatever locations are most cost-effective. The project itself is not going to result in any tangible change in the short-run, but it is expected to yield data that can be used by campus departments such as F&S for the eventual reduction of campus water-usage. Its goals fall into line with the Climate Action Plan, which outlines a 40% reduction of campus water usage by 2025. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding a grant in the amount of $10,000.