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.