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Projects Updates for Zero Waste iCAP Team

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  1. ZW010 Tailgate Recycling - Submitted

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team submitted the attached ZW010 Tailgate Recycling recommendation to the iWG on 3/24/2023. The recommendation states:

    The Zero Waste Team recommends that Facilities & Services (F&S) and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) work with the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) to implement a recycling program at tailgate events during the 2023 football season and beyond.

    The following would require F&S to provide blue bags, which Athletics will distribute to tailgate participants when they are checking in by car. These bags will contain paper instructions stapled onto each blue bag. The attached paper will convey what recyclable materials can be placed in the blue bag, and will include a map with locations of “collection hubs” (location at which a F&S recycling pan is placed) – at Lot 31 and Lot 32 – so tailgaters know where to bring their filled blue bags. In addition, F&S and iSEE will work together to solicit volunteer support for the tailgate events. Volunteers will be spread across the tailgating lots to distribute more blue bags as needed and offer educational support to fans as questions about trash and recycling arise.

    Following the end of the tailgating event, volunteers will assist with clean up (recyclables collection) from the Grange Grove field. The volunteers will work with DIA to ensure that F&S receives the recyclables from this clean-up session, prior to DIA’s sweep.

    Additionally, the Zero Waste Team requests 1-2 iSEE tents to establish a visible presence at each “collection hub.” It is recommended that 2 volunteers will be manning each tent, where they will be collecting filled blue bags from fans, handing out more blue bags, and incentivizing/rewarding participants with free merchandise (as available).

    F&S, iSEE, and DIA will communicate with Illini Union/the Bookstore regarding opportunities for partnership. Additionally, the F&S Zero Waste Coordinator (ZWC) will communicate with campus’ Coca-Cola Representative, Jake Slager, about allocating the mutual sustainability funds for tailgating merchandise. The ZWC will also work with the DIA marketing team to ensure that fans attending the game (season ticket and single ticket holders) are aware of the tailgate recycling activities happening, through their communications strategy.

    Following the football event, the Zero Waste Team recommends that DIA facilitate a survey opportunity for fans, with input regarding what questions are asked from F&S and iSEE. During the November 14th, 2022 inaugural Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste basketball event, DIA surveyed fans with the following questions:

    1. “Did you notice that this [basketball] game was a recycling-focused event?” YES / NO
    2. “Did you recycle your bottles and/or cans at the [basketball] game?” YES / NO
    3. “Do you support having more emphasis on recycling in future [basketball] games?” YES / NO

    It is recommended that a similar approach is taken for tailgate recycling. Allowing fans to voice their feedback is crucial for DIA, iSEE, and F&S to improve on fan experience for future events.

    After the football game, volunteers will work with DIA to sweep the stadium for leftover recyclables.

    Suggested unit/department to address implementation: Facilities & Services, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

  2. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 3/10/2023

    On January 30th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to discuss final thoughts on the finished tailgate recycling recommendation, the feasibility of a large scale composting program on campus, and current work with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). 

    Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  3. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 1/30/2023

    On January 30th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to discuss the details of the suggested tailgate recycling program and ended the meeting with a plan going forward. The team also discussed the outcome of the ZW009 review during the iWG meeting that took place the same morning. 

    Meeting minutes are attached. 

    Attached Files: 
  4. iSEE and F&S initiate an analysis of the drinking water survey

    Hi Daphne,


    Morgan and I spoke yesterday about mining data from the drinking water behavior survey that Meredith led. I started a list of question that I shared with Meredith, but she does not have time to take look into them. Morgan suggested you would be interested in working on this and could recruit Alec McKay to perform the analysis.


    The survey and responses can be found here:


    My initial list of questions is below. There may be other items worth examining.


    Let me know if you want to discuss further. I’ll reach out shortly about scheduling regular meetings.






    Hi Meredith,


    I think it could be informative to analyze some of the responses to the survey. Specifically, it would be valuable to know if there is any consistency among respondents (in terms of gender identity and role on campus) to better target an information campaign. I made an initial list of questions and responses (below) that warrant a closer look (others could be added). Do you have an intern that could perform an analysis?

    -         Agree or strongly agree to the statement: “Bottled water is my primary source of drinkable water.”

    -         4 or 5 to the question: “To what degree do you prefer one type of water over another? Tap vs filtered” or “tap vs bottled” or “Filtered vs bottled”

    -         4 or 5 to “Bottled water is safer to drink than tap water.”

    -         4 or 5 to “Filtered tap water is safer to drink than tap water.“

    -         4 or 5 to “One single-use bottle of water does not yield a significant environmental impact.“





    Jennifer Fraterrigo (she/her)

    iSEE Associate Director for Campus Sustainability and
    Professor of Landscape and Ecosystem Ecology
    Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

    University of Illinois

    W-423 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave.

    Urbana, IL 61801

  5. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 12/8/2022

    On December 8th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to discuss a new approach to creating recommendations for next semester. During the meeting, the team created subcommittees based on aspects of the key priorities document and provided feedback on an environmental engineering sustainability project. 

    Meeting minutes are attached.

  6. ZW009 Project4Less Expansion - Submitted

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team submitted the attached ZW009 Project4Less Expansion recommendation to the iWG on 12/7/22. The recommendations states as follows:

    We recommend that University Housing Dining Services works with Project 4 Less to divert wasted food to those in need. Project 4 Less packages pre-consumer food waste (untouched food) from LAR dining hall each week and Housing coordinates the food’s delivery to local food pantries, such as Wesley Food Pantry. Meals are then provided to community members experiencing food insecurity. Project 4 Less is currently only working out of LAR dining hall, and there is much more food to be recovered, such as from Ikenberry, ISR, and PAR dining halls.
    Similar to how Project 4 Less currently collaborates with Housing at LAR, we request that:
    ● Housing stores and sets up materials (cold carts, boxes) before packaging events
    ● Housing saves and stores the food that needs to be packaged
    ● Housing arranges the transportation logistics (perhaps stops could be added to existing routes)
    Ultimately, we recommend that Housing work with Project 4 Less to expand beyond LAR. Project 4 Less has the capacity to provide volunteers as part of a gradual expansion to other Dining Halls.

  7. PWR010 Ethics Video recommendation - Supplanted by PWR014

  8. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 11/7/2022

    On November 7th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to discuss DIA sustainability initiatives with Tim Knox and made edits on the Project 4 Less expansion recommendation to be submitted in the coming month(s). 

    Meeting minutes are attached.

  9. Take the Drinking Water Survey!

    Take the survey here!

    This survey is the result of a recommendation by the Zero Waste iCAP Team and is intended to gain a better understanding of drinking water behavior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    The survey is broken into eight sections. Section one asks demographic questions, sections two through seven ask you to respond to statements on a 1-5 scale, and the last section asks open ended questions. Please answer as truthfully as possible. The survey should take no more than 5 minutes. 

    Participants will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Illini Bookstore gift card!

    To get involved or share your ideas, please contact  

  10. Campus Sustainability Celebration - 10/17/22

    The 2022 Campus Sustainability Celebration was a huge success! Thank you to all who participated! The PowerPoint presentation is attached, and the agenda for the event was as follows:

    • 3-3:15 PM – Welcome
      • Jennifer Fraterrigo, on behalf of Director Madhu Khanna (iSEE)
      • Chancellor Jones
      • Vice Chancellor Susan Martinis (OVCRI)
    • 3:15 – 3:30 PM – Holistic initiatives
      • Plastic reduction (Jen)
      • Clean energy/Solar Farm 3 (Morgan)
      • Greener Campus Program (Meredith)
    • 3:30 – 4:40 PM – iCAP Team presentations
      • Energy
      • Transportation
      • Land and Water
      • Zero Waste
      • Education
      • Engagement
      • Resilience
    • 4:40 – 5 PM – Student groups (SSLC, SSC) – Jack Reicherts and Maiah Caise
      • Closing remarks by Jennifer Fraterrigo (on behalf of Madhu Khanna)
    • 5 – 6 PM – Celebration - refreshments, roundtable forum with each iCAP Team, student tabling session  
  11. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 10/5/2022

    On October 5th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to make final edits on Campus Sustainability Celebration slides, foster a conversation on Zero Waste initiatives with the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA), and discuss potential recommendations relating to food waste at dining halls.

    Meeting Minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  12. Varsity Room Sustainability Initiatives

    Team Clerk Claire Keating met with Zero Waste Team Clerk Nikki Palella and Justin Holding, a member of the engagement team.

    The meeting content included brainstorming zero-waste food containers for athletes who participate in meals provided by DIA and Hendrick House.

    Meeting also covered updates on Green Sports Alliance recommendation and future contacts.


  13. 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 ( and Resilience iCAP Team clerk Asli Topuzlu ( 

  14. 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,


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

    For future updates, please refer to the Large-Scale Food Waste Composting  project.

  15. 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