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Project Updates for collection: Housing Department Projects


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  1. 11/13 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat from the Zero Waste SWATeam meeting on 11/13.

    Discussed were the following topics:

    • Update: Adopt-a-highway/Clean-up Program
    • Composting Partnership
    • Student Project: Vermicompost
    • Novel Scope Addition: Grind2Energy
    • Update: Food Literacy Project
    • Update: Clean Plate Program
    • Update: Sustainability within Purchasing (Website & Protocols)
  2. links for resources

    The Zero Waste SWATeam met 10-02-2020 to discuss the iCAP 2020 objectives for Zero Waste, and one of the topics was regarding the new objective for implementing a Food Literacy Project in campus dining halls. Team members identified a few resources that could be helpful in implementing this project:

    "Modelling nutrient flows in a simplified local food-energy-water system":



  3. Fall 2020 sale cancelled

    Associated Project(s): 

    The YMCA provided this update for the fall 2020 sale. "After talking it over as a staff and board, we have decided not to hold the sale in August.  Our decision was based largely on three main factors: (1) health and safety concerns for volunteers and shoppers.  In particular, we were concerned that a majority of our regular August volunteers are older.  There were also concerns about the processes we would need to follow for proper sanitation of donated items (2) uncertainty about occupancy restrictions and the risk of the event becoming a source of virus spread in the community and (3)  uncertainty around availability of the Stock Pavilion or other comparable site for the sale (though this was very low on the list)."

  4. Grind2Energy

    Grind2Energy-horizontal.jpgGrind2Energy: Turning Campus Food Waste into Fuel

    The 49,000 students educated at the University of Illinois can generate a lot of food waste. Most of it winds up in a landfill. But for students with a dining hall plan, food waste is ultimately turned into energy, helping the campus reduce its carbon footprint.

    With the "Grind2Energy" system, food scraps are ground down and ultimately run through an anaerobic digester at the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District, producing methane that is used for fuel to power the plant. The system was installed at Florida Avenue Residence Halls last fall, and others are in the works.

    "Hopefully this small piece will be part of a bigger system down the road," said Thurman Etchison, Assistant Director of Housing Dining Services for Equipment and Facilities.

  5. Spring 2020 collection cancelled

    Associated Project(s): 

    Due to concerns about volunteer safety, the stay-at-home order for Illinois, and anticipated continuation of the COVID-19 social distancing, we are officially cancelling the Dump and Run collection from University Housing this spring.  

    I am very sorry that this is the case, and I hope that all of you are safe and staying calm during this crisis.

    We intend to still hold our next group meeting on April 14 at 1pm, via telephone.  We will discuss options at that time for providing some of the benefits from the fall sale to our future incoming students.  We will also include an update from Shantanu about the preparatory work that can occur this spring and summer.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or concerns which we should also address during our next group meeting.

    Thank you and best wishes,

  6. Archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University YMCA has coordinated a waste reduction program called "Dump and Run" since the early 2000's.  At student move-out, hundreds of volunteers help collect the reusable materials for resale after summer break.  Then the weekend before school starts, the YMCA's staff and volunteers sell the materials at a massive "garage sale" in the Stock Pavillion.  The University YMCA is a local non-profit, and they work with the International Student and Scholar Services department on campus, as well as University Housing.

  7. Dump and Run Scope Change (2020)

    Associated Project(s): 

    "Shantanu Pai with Facilities and Services is serving as the point person to coordinate the Dump and Run event. Although University Housing submitted the request for funding and is currently holding the grant money awarded by the Student Sustainability committee, we would like to transfer the funds from University Housing to Facilities and Services. This will allow Shantanu more control and better tracking of the expenses as he plans and executes the event." -Bryan Johnson (2020)


    A file containing information on the Dump and Run scope change is attached below.

  8. Planning underway, amidst COVID-19 changes

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,
    Shantanu and I have held a few planning meetings with Marc and Kasey from the YMCA for Dump & Run.  We’ve talked with F&S communicators and the staff who will be clearing out of the space we intend to use.  Shantanu has put together a draft communications plan, and he identified an improved collection container which we can purchase with the Student Sustainability Committee funds.  We also began planning for a community drop off location that would not be at the F&S building.
    On Friday, Bryan Johnson arranged a quick phone call with Shantanu, Bryan, me, and Joe Glass at Housing.  We discussed the changes in campus and the anticipated student behavior, related to living in the residence halls.  We talked about the potential for several students leaving at random dates throughout the remainder of the semester, and how we could potentially still collect materials.  We also talked about the possibility of needing to cancel entirely for this year.  Ultimately, that decision will need more clarity about who is here in May.  Because we will not know which students choose to come back to campus after spring break until at least March 23, we are going to have a follow up discussion on 3/25.  
    In the meantime, I am cancelling the meeting we had scheduled for tomorrow.  Our next group meeting will be on April 14 at 1pm, and it will be a Skype call.
    Thank you,

  9. Facilities and Services will lead Dump and Run, collaboratively with YMCA and Housing

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello everyone,

    I am happy to report that our Dump and Run site visit last Wednesday was successful! We will be using the Truck Bay at F&S for this year’s collection space, thanks to Dr. Attalla, Dave Boehm, and Pete Varney.  The address is 1501 S. Oak Street, and Mike Doyle and Marc Alexander said it will serve the collection space needs very well.  Additionally, the Zero Waste Coordinator at F&S, Shantanu Pai, will take on an active role for Dump and Run this year. 

    Our vision is to transition Dump and Run from a “YMCA-run event that campus helps” to a “campus-run event that the YMCA helps.”  Certainly this will take time (more than one year) and there are many details to work out, so please remember that the collaboration for this overall program will only be strengthened by this shift. Shantanu, Marc, and I are meeting this Wednesday, and we will provide a more detailed status update at the next team meeting on March 10. 

    If you have any questions or suggestions in the meantime, please let me know. Thanks again for all the thought and consideration that this group has put in to this program and finding workable solutions.  I’m very excited for the future of Dump and Run!



  10. From Plants to Energy - DI article about IBI

    "An IBRL truck makes a half-mile drive to Ikenberry to pick up barrels of the leftover cooking oil from Ikenberry. Once at the lab, the team goes through pre-processing, processing and purification of the soon-to- be biodiesel.

    Since last summer, IBI has been in the midst of a major rehaul. The former 50-gallon batch processor is being upgraded to a 500-gallon processor. Over the past two semesters, the team has only picked up twice from Ikenberry strictly for testing purposes on the new processor. The project is expected to be completed this fall.

    One of the unique qualities of the RSO is the diversity of the work. IBI includes a production, soap and quality control team with other executive positions as well."

  11. SSC Funding Award and Acceptance Letter for Dump And Run

    Associated Project(s): 

    The SSC Funding Award and Acceptance Letter for Dump and Run is attached below.

    The following quote is taken from the letter, "SSC is pleased to inform you that we are recommending to the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) that your project receives $15,020 in grant funding."