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Projects Updates for Increase Recycling through the WTS

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  1. 12/18 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes from the Zero Waste SWATeam on 12/18/2020. The following agenda items were discussed:

    • Grind2Energy Additional Scope.
    • NERC membership.
    • Mask Terracycle Program.
    • Organics Master Plan.
    • Vending Machine Single-Use Plastics Replacement.
    • Mitigating single-serve options in third-party vendors in Union.
    • Reusable dining operations during COVID.
    • Reuse of Surplus Goods.
    • Battery Recycling Options.
    • Purchasing Order Fufillment: Sustainable Options.
    • Purchasing Sustainability Digital Booklet.
    • Food Waste Reduction Webinar Engagement Opportunity.
    • Sustainability Integrations within punch-out catalogues/iBUY.
  2. 12/4 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat log of the Zero Waste SWATeam on 12/4/2020. 

    The following were discussed:

    • SSC Letter of Support for Illini Union Shadowbox Recycling project
    • Vermicomposting
    • Composting
    • NASEM Circular Economy Conference
    • Food Literacy Project
  3. 2019 Recycling Summary

    Associated Project(s): 

    Global recycling of material has been widespread throughout the world for many years as an option for source reduction, excess waste generation and materials diversion from landfills. According to, 2019 has been a challenge for the recycling materials market as it adjusted to tightened Chinese import restrictions and U.S-China trade war issues as well as a softened domestic market that affected commodities pricing.

    Going into the New Year, recyclers don’t predict any significant market changes for the first half of 2020.

    Saying Goodbye to a Difficult Year-2019 has challenged the resolve of many recyclers.

  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. 18F Semesterly Report - Baler Conceptualization


    On March 1, 2018, Morgan White, Pete Varney, and Shawn Patterson met with capital planner Trent Beane, a representative of the engineering firm, and a manufacturer’s rep from Dehart Recycling.  We discussed the project needs, and the current status of the WTS equipment.  Some notable points are listed below:

    • The existing baler was installed in 1996
    • Design of balers has changes a lot, with lower labor costs and alternatives to the perforator currently used at WTS.
    • The power supply is probably similar to the existing power demand.

    After the meeting, the engineering firm was asked to provide a formal proposal to F&S to approve and begin the design work.  Unfortunately, this process was delayed due to emergency family medical issues for Mr. Beane. 


    In August 2018, a new planner was assigned, Chris Anzelmo. Anzelmo finalized the agreement with the engineering firm and arranged a kick-off meeting.  In November 2018, the engineer visited the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to examine the Styrofoam densifier and gathered additional information from the WTS.


    Then on December 13, 2018, preliminary drawings were shared with F&S. At that meeting, discussions included the needs for modifying the “pit” at the base of the baler entry system, adjusting the pathway width between the baler and the north wall, and recognition that locating the Styrofoam densifier at the WTS would require a building addition. Information about the HVAC system and required code updates were also reviewed.


    On January 2, 2019, a baler vendor representative met with us at the WTS. They are going to look at an alternative baler that could provide the needed walkway space on the north end and use the existing pit.



  6. SSC funds baler conceptualization study

    The existing baler at the Waste Transfer Station cannot handle plastics beyond #1 and #2. Thus, UIUC requires a new baler before the university can increase the types of plastics collected and ultimately recycled. In order for Facilities & Services (F&S) to purchase a new baler, they first need to conduct a conceptualization study, analyzing cost, construction, and maintenance. The Student Sustainability Committee funding provides support to F&S to conduct the necessary conceptualization study. Once F&S completes this study, they will make plans to expand plastic baling to a wider range of plastics.

  7. PWR SWATeam Meeting - 11/2/17

    The Purchasing, Waste, and Recycling SWATeam met to discuss a variety of updates and challenges regarding recycling on campus. The group discussed progress on the rearrangement of outdoor dual bins on the North Quad and standards for the placements of bins inside of buildings. The group also discussed their long-term vision for trash and recycling operations on campus and brainstormed various methods for increasing recycling at the Waste Transfer Station. An update was also given on the status of SmartWay certification on campus.

    Attached Files: 
  8. 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.

  9. PWR006 Expanded Recycling recommendation - Assessment with comments

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on September 25, 2015, to discuss and start the assessment of SWATeam recommendation PWR006 Expanded Recycling. The iWG's official comment for this recommendation was:

    "The iWG enthusiastically supports this recommendation."

    See attached the iWG assessment of SWATeam recommendation, PWR006 Expanded Recycling, complete with official comments from all the iWG members.

    See SWATeam recommendation PWR006 Expanded Recycling here.

  10. PWR006 Expanded Recycling recommendation - Submittal

    The PWR SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "We recommend that the Waste Transfer Station accept all plastics number 1 through 7 to simplify what can be recycled and to better align with what is accepted by the Cities of Champaign and Urbana, The University of Illinois Chicago, Parkland College, students' high schools, and students' homes."

     See attached the SWATeam recommendation PWR006 Expanded Recycling complete with comments from all the PWR SWATeam members.

  11. Archived web info - CSE Green Heroes

    Pic Tim HossTim Hoss: Our First Green Hero

    The year was 1987. In just a few hours on the Quad, members of Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) got over 2,000 signatures on a petition to encourage campus leaders to start a recycling program at the University of Illinois. Campus leaders agreed it was a good idea, and an advisory task force of students, faculty and staff was given the charge to study what it would take to set up a campus-wide recycling program. After reviewing the task force's 170-page report, campus leaders approved approximately $650,000 to start a recycling program, which was to be set up over a 5-year period. Grants from various state agencies contributed the other resources needed to cover the final $1 million price tag.

    Tim Hoss, with a lot of help from students, was able to get a recycling program that serviced over 200 buildings on campus operational in about two years. And since 1989, Tim Hoss, Coordinator of Campus Waste Management, operated a comprehensive recycling program at the University. In 1995, $1.3 million was spent on a material processing addition to the Waste Transfer Station (WTS). When it opened in November 1997, the University's Material Recovery Facility was one of the first state-of-the-art recycling-sorting facilities on a university campus in the nation.

    Fast forward to 2010. Everyday two trucks from the WTS collect waste paper, and another truck collects cardboard twice daily from around campus. Recovering recyclable material from the University's waste stream is no small job. The WTS collects waste from thousands of recycling bins and 250 dumpsters. Except for the waste from University Housing (which runs its own program), all wastwts_papertruck_5888.jpge on campus comes to the WTS. Once back at the recovery facility, all of the material gets sorted: equipment, construction waste, and non-recyclable materials are removed. Recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, aluminum, and plastics are all sorted out and placed into storage bunkers. Tim is quick to point out that it takes a team of people to get the job done including: 5 drivers, 2 operating engineers, 4 laborers, and 6 workers from the Developmental Services Center in Champaign who help with the sorting.

    Once sorted, the materials are compressed into large bales and sold. The WTS generated about $500,000 in revenue during fiscal year 2008, and saved the University over $200,000 in landfill costs. In 2008, the WTS recycled: 838 tons of cardboard, 1,236 tons of paper, 21 tons of plastic, 41 tons of aluminum, 625 tons of scrap metal, and 325 tons of pallets. Through these efforts, the UnBottle_closeup_img5627.jpgiversity diverted 48.8% of our waste stream from landfills.

    Tim retired from the University in January 2010. But he still has great ideas for how the University can continue to lessen its impact on the environment. When asked what he'd like to see happen in future recycling efforts on campus he had two ideas:wts_canbale_5943.jpg
    1) Start a comprehensive organic waste management program, and
    2) Restructure the way that surplus equipment is disposed.

    Tim Hoss made a tremendous positive impact while he was here at the University, and so we are happy to recognize him as our first Green Hero. Tim certainly did his part to make our campus a Greener place. And you can too. Consume less. Recycle more.