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Projects Updates for Install Appropriate Waste Collection Infrastructure

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  1. EPA funding opportunity?

    Hi Susan,


    I hope this message finds you well after the holiday weekend. I wanted to reach out regarding the recent EPA notice of funding opportunity for the Inflation Reduction Act Community Change Grant Program, which you may have already heard about. I attached the full notice of funding opportunity document to this email. The due date for applications is November 21, 2024. Community-based non-profits can partner with institutions of higher education on a collaborative project.


    Track 1 applications, community-driven investments for change, covers a broad area of community conditions that could be assessed. One of the specific objectives covered is “reduce local pollution to improve public health.” I understand that building a HHW facility for the county would address pollutants that may otherwise end up improperly disposed of.


    I just wanted to reach out and call your attention to this opportunity in case you hadn’t already heard about it. Do you think this could be useful for funding the HHW facility? If so, I’d certainly be interested in being involved!


    Thank you,



    Hi Daphne, 


    This is definitely the best email I've received recently!!!  OMG. CCES is potentially so very interested. 

    I'll be reviewing this and will touch base with you ASAP.  


    Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. 


    Susan Monte


    Hi Jen, Morgan, & Pete,


    Exciting news – big EPA notice of funding opportunity just released from the IRA for $2B, applications due a year from now. Community-based non-profits can partner with institutions of higher education on an environment justice project. The Champaign County Environmental Stewards have been wanting to tackle our lack of household hazardous waste facility here in Champaign County for some time. This would be a huge win for campus waste, too. Depending on what we scour in the notice of funding opportunity document (i.e. assuming we are eligible), this would be something I’d like to explore pursuing with CCES.


    Thank you,




    Hi Daphne,


    I skimmed the RFP (here) and noticed a strong emphasis on environmental justice. The program objective is “redressing environmental and climate injustices for communities facing legacy pollution, climate change, and persistent disinvestment.”


    I think iSEE /the Resilience team can help with a proposal. It would be a good idea for us to discuss how best to do this.


    One immediate thought I had was whether we could combine a hazardous waste facility with a facility for waste-to-energy conversion and build in job/economic opportunities in the community much like the Green Era Campus in Chicago. It doesn’t need to be an anaerobic digestor (although we certainly have enough organic waste generated regionally to support one).


    Let me know what you think.





    Hi Jen,

    Good catch on the environmental justice piece. I like your line of thinking on how we can incorporate additional features into a HHW facility. I think it would be great to chat about this with the CCES and determine a shared direction. I’m waiting to hear back from Susan and would be happy to schedule this.


    Thank you,


  2. Student Let Project Feasibility

    Hey Morgan,


    The SSC has moved to fund this; I would like to get the go-ahead on it.


    Improper waste segregation poses significant environmental and financial challenges. In colleges, even students often need to pay more attention to separate waste correctly, leading to damaged recyclables, increased landfill waste, and the labor-intensive task of sorting improperly discarded waste. This issue extends beyond universities, indicating a larger problem with waste management globally. The current approach of replacing traditional single-bin systems with costly three-bin recycling bins has improved diversion rates but falls short of expectations. Financial burdens arise from the need to hire workers for manual waste sorting. To address this problem, we developed a cost-effective solution that ensures minimal damage to recyclables by sorting waste at the point of disposal.

    The project's use of AI, and revenue optimization contributes to more efficient waste management practices. This not only minimizes contamination and reduces landfill waste but also optimizes the recovery of recyclable materials. The data analysis dashboard provides users with valuable insights into disposal trends and waste composition. This empowers users to make informed decisions about waste management, promoting responsible practices. Additionally the lower cost of switching to SegBin.Ai than conventional 3 bin dustbins by over 50% significantly reduces spend on waste management infrastructure and it also has a major boost in waste diversion rates.

    I don’t like the budgeted amount of $1,600.00 for CAD and Software, it is confusing, it appears the students are paying themselves. I would like clarification on this.



    Hi Codie,


    Can you point me to the full file for this?  Are they just developing a software program, or building some sort of AI robot system for sorting mail?





    Hey Morgan,

    This is the link for the project application and Excel application, I cc’d Daphne Hulse in the email as she is the advisor and can help with clarification questions. I always appreciate your time,


    Hi Morgan,


    The student group here is developing both a software system and physical prototype to place on top of existing recycling bins (the ones that are not the 3-stream bins). They are piloting sorting system at the recycling bin for the software to distinguish different types of objects and tell the user which stream to place it in (trash, paper, bottles/cans, etc.). They are planning to pilot this at PPSB and Garage & Carpool, with the understanding that it needs to be feasible for BSWs.


    Thank you,

  3. Solar Powered Trash Compactor question

    Hello my name is Saif Malik and I am a graduate student in the Energy Systems program. Some classmates and I are working with the Student Sustainability Committee on proposing 2 pairs of solar compactors to be set up by the main union. 

    I understand that in the past there was a compactor that broke down/ caused issues. I was hoping to get any information on this so we can look into if this is still viable or what improvements would be needed from what you encountered.

    Thank you for your time!

    Saif Malik


    Morgan, would you be able to assist with the below?


    Jerry Dinnin

  4. Meeting Minutes for iWG Meeting July 2, 2019

    These are the meeting minutes of the July 2, 2019 Illinois Climate Action Plan Working Group.  Several SWATeam recommendations were assessed in this meeting.

    Attached Files: 
  5. Meeting notes Jan. 11, 2018

    Morgan White, Anna Barnes, and Leah Berti met to discuss the first steps for the Use the Bin messaging campaign to campus staff.  Leah will finalize the powerpoint presentation by 1/16, and do a practice presentation to Morgan and Anna on 1/18.  The following week she will do a presentation to internal sustainability staff, and then start scheduling presentations with larger campus employee groups.

  6. SWATeam Meeting - 10/18/17

    The PWR SWATeam met to discuss objectives and goals for the year, as well as provide feedback on the proposed Campus Administrative Manual policy on purchasing paper of recycled content. The team discussed a broad range of projects and delegated next steps for moving forward on each.

    Attached Files: 
  7. Promotion of source separation

    Content has been drafted for a PowerPoint presentation to encourage the use of separate bins for recyclables and trash. It will emphasize that separation at the point of disposal is more effective than the older system of placing all items in a single bin and will therefore help the campus meet landfill diversion targets. The presentation will be made over the summer to Campus business officers, the Staff HR Advisory Council, and student groups that can talk to other groups.

  8. Award Letter - Residential Recycling

    This project was developed by Eco-mmunity, a team of students passionate about sustainability, after noticing that students were not recycling within the residence halls. After further research, interviews, and observations of facilities and processes we noticed that it all came down to students’ convenience. After completing a pilot study we recognized that if students had the option to sort their trash and recycling in their room, they were much more likely to participate in recycling. With recycling bins placed in each student’s individual room, alongside their trash bin, students could conveniently dump them into their corresponding bins in the trash rooms at the end of the hallway. The goal of this project is to create positive long lasting habits that residents and students will continue to use after leaving University Housing. We also hope that this larger awareness and convenience of recycling will stimulate and promote more recycling around campus, as well as set a standard for other non-University Housing and private certified residencies to follow.

  9. PWR003 Recycling Bins recommendation - Assessment with comments

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on May 4, 2015, to discuss and start the assessment of PWR003 Recycling Bins recommendation. Their official comment on the recommendation was:

    "The iWG endorses this recommendation, but notes that recycling bins in some buildings are not controlled by F&S; we request that F&S compile a list of other entities on campus to whom this recommendation should also be transmitted."

    See attached the iWG assessment of the PWR003 Recycling Bins recommendation complete with official comments from all the iWG members.

    See SWATeam recommendation PWR003 Recycling Bins here.

  10. PWR003 Recycling Bins recommendation - Submittal

    The PWR SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "We recommend that campus buildings add adequate recycling stations and make efforts to avoid having isolated landfill bins."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation, PWR003 Recycling Bins, complete with comments from all the PWR SWATeam members.

  11. Housing recycling bin test project

    During the fall ’14 semester, University Housing was able to acquire a recycling bin from MaxR through their Free Bin Friday promotional event. The bin was specifically designed for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our colors and logo, and currently resides at the entrance of 57 North inside the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building (SDRP).

    A suggestion was made to use this bin, along with the recycling bins recently purchased for the main quad, to conduct a test to determine if the branding of a bin would impact recycling participation among our student population.

    The test would be conducted at the north entrance of SDRP, and would take place during the spring ’15 semester once weather is more favorable for outdoor foot traffic. All existing trash receptacles would be removed and replaced with the MaxR bin and the appropriately signed bins for the main quad. The test would be conducted for a two week period with the containers switching places after the first week to eliminate positioning as a possible cause for false results. Data would be collected and analyzed by ISCT to determine participation and contamination rates for each style of container. The results would be available made available to various sustainability groups across campus including ISTC and ISEE.

  12. Housing receives recycling bin from Max-R

    Housing took advantage of the Free Bin Friday promotional event from Max-R, to design a uniquely branded outdoor recycling container. Although it is currently being displayed inside SDRP, it has generated a lot of conversation across campus. The day it arrived, multiple students expressed their approval of the bin and appreciation for an increased focus on recycling by the University.

    Bryan Johnson, Project Manager, PMP