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Projects Updates for Zero Waste iCAP Team

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  1. Urban Biodiversity Master Plan Student Support

    Biodiversity Plan intern Gabriel Harper-Hagen is looking for students and student groups to help him develop two iNaturalist surveys for the project. Here is the detailed explanation from Gabe:

    The survey will act as a pilot for future surveying around campus and the broader community. We will have two surveys: one focused on animals and one focused on plants. This is because of the different methods of surveying each. The surveys will benefit from as many students that would be interested in this for either one (Or both). The survey will attempt to efficiently gather data about the diversity of plant and animal species found on campus to create a baseline for what is present and to help identify gaps on the campus where diversity may be lacking. If successful, I hope to expand the model to other parts of the community including the park districts to have larger community based BioBlitz seasonally to keep track of the diversity in the area and measure success of the biodiversity plan. 

     

    As far as students can help, we need enough people to survey the area efficiently in a reasonable amount of time. The student groups and individual students would be helping in an initial survey that focuses only on the campus. My thought is that a date will be set for each of the two surveys where the participants can join to go over brief instructions on identifying plants with iNaturalist, adding them to the project, and explaining the purpose of surveying. iNaturalist allows for specific project data to be collected within a region which is then peer reviewed. Ideally, there will be some experts (students or professors if appropriate) that join for each survey to help with logistics and identification. I hope this will not only be a useful database for our campus to utilize, but also a fun learning experience. 

     

    All iCAP students and environmental student groups are encouraged to participate. If interested, please email Gabe (harperh2@illinois.edu) and Resilience iCAP Team clerk Asli Topuzlu (aslit2@illinois.edu). 

  2. ZW007 Composting Strategies - Successful

    iSEE Director, Madhu Khanna, responded in favor of the ZW007 Composting Strategies recommendation with the following message:

    ================

    Dear Morgan and Jen

    iSEE is very supportive of discussing composting program expansion opportunities and we appreciate the submittal of this recommendation. We have established and supported the implementation of several compost tumblers on campus and participate in a Sustainable Land Management Committee to work on identifying potential compost opportunities at South Farms. This committee is currently working on establishing an outlet for composting manure with the intent of expanding to include campuswide organic waste, excluding the waste from Dining Halls as they already divert their organic waste through Grind2Energy Systems.

    We have now had time to discuss the recommendation below in more detail. In the near term, we have initiated conversations to pilot a program between the Union and Urbana Landscape Recycling Center to assess demand and logistical details needed to support such a program. Many of the individuals included on the proposed committee membership list are included in these discussions, and progress will be continuously reported on the iCAP Portal. As you recommended, we are gathering these stakeholders to discuss composting.  Because it is a large and complex issue, we are taking a less structured approach than a formal committee. We will reassess the launch of such a group as we move forward with the Union pilot project. Thank you again for your dedication to campus waste diversion.

    Best wishes,
    Madhu

    ================

    See the iWG assessment and transmittal of ZW007 Composting Strategies here. 
    See the submittal of ZW007 Composting Strategies here.
     

  3. iCAP Team Priority Areas 2022-2023

    The following email was sent to the iCAP Teams:

    Hello iCAP Teams,

    Thank you again for serving on these important campus sustainability committees, and for your commitment to helping the university achieve the objectives in the Illinois Climate Action Plan.  As promised in the charge letters you received, we are attaching the Key Priorities Document here.  The attached document includes a section for each iCAP Team, with two parts in each section: Priority areas and in progress iCAP Portal projects.

    1. Priority Areas

    In order to help our campus move from STARS Gold to STARS Platinum, we have identified priority areas where our university can potentially improve. iSEE’s summer intern Tyler evaluated the latest UIUC STARS report and identified example case studies from STARS Platinum schools.  Tyler’s report is online at “Report on Improving UIUC STARS Score.” The priority areas also include topics for potential recommendations that have been brought up in previous discussions with the campus sustainability teams.  One example of this is the current efforts to reduce plastic waste on campus.

    Many prior iCAP team members have expressed a desire for guidance on appropriate topics for recommendations, so we are providing this guidance to assist your team with focus areas for development of recommendations.  We encourage you to investigate these ideas with gusto; reach out to people at other schools to learn more about the ideas and contact people on our campus who would have a stake in the project (“stakeholders”) to understand how it could fit into our campus. You should also review the recommendation template to see the information that needs to be completed when you submit a recommendation to the iCAP Working Group. 

    1. In progress iCAP Portal projects

    The iCAP Portal has over 900 projects and contains information about our campus sustainability efforts, going back as far as 2003. The information is primarily entered by members of the iCAP Teams, the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC), and a few volunteers.  We are requesting your assistance to get updates on some of the projects that are listed as “In Progress.”  For each of the projects listed in the attached file, please answer the following questions:

    • Who is the current contact person? The project records on the iCAP Portal may provide past contacts, and your team members may have relevant information.
    • Is the project completed? If not, what is the current status of the effort?
    • What changes are needed on the iCAP Portal project page content? Pictures would be particularly nice to be able to share on the Portal.

    We are very excited about this coming year, and we want to support you in any way necessary.  Please reach out to any of us at any time.

    Thank you,

    Morgan, Jen, and Meredith

  4. ZW007 Composting Strategies - Transmitted

    Following review by the iCAP Working Group, the iWG recommends that the ZW007 Composting Strategies recommendation be transmitted to iSEE:

    "Because these discussions are at the beginning stages in various formats and topics, the iWG recommends that iSEE collaborate with the Zero Waste iCAP Team to plan and host a discussion/symposium/workshop in FY23 to share knowledge about composting programs, efforts, and strategies for campus and the community. A review of known solutions from other places and an assessment of anticipated costs for composting strategies should be included, and include presentations from experts on best practices."

    See the submittal of ZW007 Composting Strategies here.

    Attached Files: 
  5. iCAP Team Charge Letters 2022-2023

    iSEE Director, Madhu Khanna, sent out the seven iCAP Team charge letters for the 2022-2023 academic year (attached). 

    "Thank you once again for your service in helping to make the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign a more sustainable campus. Attached is your charge letter for the 2022-2023 academic year with an outline of your campus sustainability duties as part of the iCAP Team. We look forward to your positive and impactful contributions."

  6. Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) Supporting Member

    In Spring of 2022, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign became a Supporting Member for the Northeast Recycling Council’s (NERC).

    As an Advisory Member, we are invited to:

     

    • Submit articles for the Email Bulletin.  
    • Submit blogs – which will be advertised on social media.
    • Participate in four substantive committees:
      • glass markets
      • regional recycling markets
      • bottle bills
      • diversity, equity and inclusion
    • Participate in Projects or Initiatives:
  7. iCAP Team Kickoff 2022

    The iCAP Teams and iCAP Working Group gathered for the annual kickoff event on 8-24-22. Current members attended to learn about the iCAP 2020, the role of the teams and members, and meet sustainability staff and fellow team members. The presentation is attached and the recording can be found here

  8. iWG Meeting Minutes 5-23-22

    The iWG met on 5-23-22 and discussed the following agenda. The meeting minutes are attached.

    1. Revisit ZW008
    2. ABE469 – student group worked on developing a scope for the Clean Energy Plan - https://uofi.box.com/s/p8rov2a176ow0nbwy5n3dh3b1ym2u36m
    3. Continue discussion on what to include in the scope of Comprehensive Energy Planning Document
    4. Thanks for all of your hard work this year!
    Attached Files: 
  9. ZW006 Water Filter System Tracking - Successful

    Dr. Ehab Kamarah, interim Executive Director of F&S, responded to Dr. Jennifer Fraterrigo, iSEE Associate Director of Campus Sustainability on 5/8/22:

    "Our staff will gather the information F&S has available and share it with the Zero Waste iCAP Team.  This will include the water filters that are regularly maintained on campus in state supported buildings. We do not have a lot of information about the bottle fillers without filters, so we will provide what we have. We will also have the Building Services team initiate an inventory of water fountains and filling stations throughout campus."

    See transmittal and iWG assessment of ZW006 Water Filter System Tracking here. 
    See submittal of ZW006 Water Filter System Tracking recommendation here. 

  10. iWG Meeting Minutes 4-19-22

    The iCAP Working Group met on 4-19-22 and discussed the following agenda: 

    1. ZW007 Composting Committee (Alexa Smith and Sydney Trimble)
    2. ZW008 Adopt a Highway/Drain (Alexa Smith and Sydney Trimble)
    3. Res003 Collecting Info about Environmental Justice Needs (Stacy Gloss)
    4. Updates
      1. Earth Month – Meredith
      2. SSC
      3. SSLC
      4. ISG

    The meeting minutes are attached. 

    Attached Files: 
  11. ZW005 Water Bottle Survey - Successful

    Dr. Madhu Khanna, interim Director of iSEE, responded to the ZW005 Water Bottle Survey recommendation with the following message:

    "Thanks to the IWG and ICAP Zero Waste Team for their recommendation. It will be very informative to conduct a survey on campus bottled water use and assess areas where we can make a difference by providing water filler stations and other strategies for changing behavior. iSEE will be happy to support this effort and work with you all in developing the survey instrument, analyzing and disseminating the findings."

    For future updates related to the Water Bottle Survey, see the "Water Bottle Survey" project page here

    See transmittal and iWG assessment of ZW005 Water Bottle Survey here. 
    See submittal of ZW005 Water Bottle Survey recommendation here. 

  12. Zero Waste iCAP Team Meeting

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team met for their final meeting of the semester on Thursday, April 28. The team finalized drafting a recommendation on updating the Campus Administrative Manual's Waste Minimization Policy and set potential objectives for the upcoming academic year. Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  13. Zero Waste iCAP Team Meeting

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team met for their final meeting of the semester on Thursday, April 28. The team finalized drafting a recommendation on updating the Campus Administrative Manual's Waste Minimization Policy and set potential objectives for the upcoming academic year. Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 

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