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Projects Updates for Green Sports Alliance (GSA)

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  1. Zero Waste iCAP Team Meeting Minutes 1/26/2024

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team met on 1/26/24 to review iCAP objectives and the statuses of our focused projects. Thurman Etchison and Daphne Hulse provided updates on Housing Recycling and Recyclopedia. Tim Knox provided updates on Green Sports Alliance membership, and the group discussed the current status of the Coca-Cola Buy-Back program and potential areas of improvement. 

    Attached Files: 
  2. Engagement iCAP Team Meeting Minutes 1/26/2024

    The Engagement iCAP Team met on 1/26/2024 to discuss the Campus Sustainability Survey and provide updates on AY 23-24 objectives. Daphne Hulse attended as a guest speaker to discuss the Green Sports Alliance and Green Tailgate event volunteer engagement.

  3. Zero Waste iCAP Team Meeting Minutes 12/4/2023

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team met on 12/4/2024 to discuss updates with our membership in the Green Sports Alliance, the Coca-Cola Buy-Back program, and current hydration station standards. Daphne Hulse provided data from our former Green Tailgate events to show successes and challenges with waste diversion at football games. The Zero Waste Team will be collaborating with the Engagement iCAP Team to discuss how we can better our volunteer outreach. 

  4. Communication on DIA Taking Over GSA Membership from F&S

    The following email was sent by Marty Kaufman on Oct 26, 2023:

    Hey Jennifer,


    I reached out to Tim Knox, and DIA did try to become a member of the Green Sports Alliance in June, but the organization said that the University was already a member so there was no need to submit payment. I see no reason to pay more money if the organization already says we are members. I understand that Athletics isn’t mentioned independently as a member, but since we are part of the University as a whole and the Alliance doesn’t feel we need to have a separate membership, it doesn’t seem fiscally responsible to pay a second membership fee.


    Maybe we look at sharing the cost for next fiscal year or at bumping it up to the $2,500 level next year if that provides more benefits? Please see the correspondence from Tim attached.


    I welcome your thoughts.


    Thank you,


    Jen Fraterrigo responded on Oct 26, 2023:

    Hi Marty,


    Thanks for looking into this matter. I reached out to Betsy Ligett and she confirmed that F&S paid the membership fee for the Nov. 1st, 2022 - Nov. 30th, 2023 time period. I agree with you about not needing a second membership. However, it would be great for DIA take over the membership starting December 1st, 2023 and pay the membership fees going forward at the level you prefer.


    For now, I suggest identifying a new point person at DIA. I would then be happy to facilitate a meeting with Betsy and the DIA POC to get him/her up to speed.






    Marty Kaufman responded on Nov 21, 2023:


    Hi Jen,


    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.


    Yes, DIA will pay for the renewal. Tim has been in touch with the Green Alliance and we will coordinate the payment for next year.


    Happy to help.





  5. WCIA: Illini football prevents waste with first tailgate recycling event

    Link to article, published on September 22, 2023

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Saturday will mark the very first time Illini Football will host a tailgate recycling event with the “Zero Waste Tailgate.”

    The event will be part of the University of Illinois’ Don’t Waste initiative. There will be orange and blue-colored recycling boxes and a bright green dumpster to throw bottles and cans away. Helpers will be of assistance and can be identified by shirts reading, “Be Orange, Go Green.”

    Green dumpsters will be placed on the east end of Lot 31 and South First Street. Boxes will be placed throughout Grange Grove and around the Illinois tent in Lot 31.

  6. F&S Website: First-Ever Illini Football Tailgate Recycling Event

    First-Ever Illini Football Tailgate Recycling Event

    Sep 19, 2023 | 10:12 am

    New orange and blue recycling boxes and a green dumpster will be available for fans near Memorial Stadium

    Illinois Football takes on Florida Atlantic University (FAU) on Saturday, September 23, at Memorial Stadium. Before the non-conference game, several orange and blue recycling boxes and a bright green dumpster will be available to help Fighting Illini fans recycle bottles and cans, which will prevent more items from reaching the landfill.

    Individuals in RVs or vehicles entering Lot 31 and Lot 32 will be given blue bags to use to drop off empty bottles and cans at the utility-sized recycling dumpster on the east side of Lot 31, along South First Street. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans and bottles may also be placed by fans into boxes within Grange Grove and around the Illinois Tent in Lot 31. Items may also be thrown in the dumpster.

    This first-of-its-kind Tailgate Recycling event on the Urbana campus is a part of the Don’t Waste initiative. Coca-Cola; the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics; the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment; and Facilities & Services are partnering to reduce waste at major campus events and support reaching zero waste goals. Approximately 10 volunteers will wear “Be Orange, Go Green” shirts and will be ready to assist the recycling efforts.

    Zero Waste Coordinator Daphne Hulse said, “Illini fans support their team and university like no other. The new Block I–wrapped recycling bins and marked dumpsters for the FAU game will allow tailgaters in these areas to easily recycle bottles and cans and add to the number of pounds of materials diverted from the landfill on our recycling scoreboard.

    The new recycling boxes will stay in place for all remaining Illini home games. The next recycling event with volunteers will be Saturday, November 11, when Indiana University visits Champaign.

    This year, Don’t Waste has achieved the following milestones:

    • With student volunteers’ help during the basketball season, Illini fans collected a State Farm Center basketball gameday record of 1,280 pounds of recyclables in March.
    • Two hydration stations were installed at Memorial Stadium this summer to encourage the use of reusable water bottles during Illini games.
    • An additional 140 pounds of plastic was diverted from the New Student Convocation event in August.

    Establishing a zero waste culture at the U of I is a top sustainability objective of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The iCAP is the university’s strategic plan to meet the Climate Leadership Commitments, including becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible and building resilience to climate change in the local community. The data collected from these engagement efforts will guide future recycling infrastructure improvements in university facilities and be used to establish best practices for implementing sustainable habits at campuswide gatherings and unit-level events.

    For more information about general campus waste management (how that works/what is recycled) and iCAP progress, contact Daphne Hulse, 217-333-7550. And keep watching for social media updates and campus recycling reminders on #DontWasteWednesday.

  7. News Channel 20: University of Illinois promotes recycling at football game with 'Zero Waste Tailgate

    Link to article, released on September 24, 2023

    As guests returned to Memorial Stadium this afternoon for u of i's home game against florida atlantic university, Facilities and Services Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pushed for a cleaner environment with the help of fans.

    It hosted Zero Waste Tailgate to encourage guests to toss bottles, cans, and other recyclable goodsby giving them blue bags and placing a large green dumpster near the stadium.

    Zero Waste Coordinator, Daphne Hulse believes those items being provided makes it easier to reduce landfill.

    Working at a large scale event like this with high visibility, is a great way not only to engage students, faculty and staff. But also community members that come here for these tailgate events." Hulse said. "Collectively we can work towards reducing that landfilled waste.

    The next recycle event will be on November 11th at the stadium for u of i's home game against Indiana University.

  8. Coca-Cola bin updates for Welcome Celebration and Tailgate Recycling

    From: Hulse, Daphne Lauren
    Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2023 8:51 AM
    To: Etchison, Thurman B <>
    Subject: Welcome Celebration recycling update


    Hi Thurman,


    Quick update on the recycling efforts for this coming Friday – good news first: we should have a good turnout of student volunteers for this event.


    The complicated news: the 20 Coca-Cola bins did arrive just a few days ago, but they are unfortunately going to require some F&S modifications before they can be put to use. They’re extra sturdy (bolted down to the pallets) which is great for outdoor events, but they do not currently have any openings to put recycling in and dump it out (see picture below). We expect we’ll have to saw open the plastic top, and then they’ll be a useable bin. Coke finished designs on the wrap that will be placed over top of the bins (attached), so they have some messaging on them when we’re ready to put them to use.


    As a quick solution, we have 24-26 bottles/cans recycling bins that we can line with blue bags and put to use (picture below). It unfortunately won’t have the great messaging that the Coke bins would have, but we will have the volunteers there to help manage. Not as sturdy as our new bins will be, but I expect better than the bins that were used last year that blew around. F&S will be bringing these over to Lot 31 on Friday when they’re bringing the tables and chairs, so our volunteers can line these with blue bags and place them nearby the trash bins.


    Thank you,


    Daphne Hulse (she/her)
    Zero Waste Coordinator
    Facilities & Services | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    +1 (217) 333-7550 |

    Please consider the environment before printing an email. Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act any written communication to or from university employees regarding university business is a public record and may be subject to public disclosure.

  9. 7-24-23 Internal Meeting

    On July 24, 2023 UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Bryan Johnson, Pete Varney, Julie Wurth, Steve Breitwieser, Marty Kaufmann, Daphne Hulse

    1. Football
      1. Tailgating
        1. Operation
          1. F&S staples recycling information + map to blue bags
          2. Parking supervisors will hand out the blue bags
          3. 2 dumpsters placed (Lot 31, Lot 32). Blue bags collected here
          4. Grange Grove/entrances to Memorial Stadium: Coca-Cola bins to collect loose bottles and cans
        2. Plan for one of the earlier games (Sep)
        3. Assess how first game went, revise for a later game (Oct/Nov)
        4. Post-season: assess, revise for next season
      2. Communication
        1. DIA gameday emails will include messaging about tailgate recycling
        2. Game script will call out hydration stations
        3. F&S – send campus-wide announcement (as was done for Dump and Run)?
        4. iSEE – newsletter?
      3. To do
        1. F&S scope out where the 2 dumpsters could be placed, confirm with DIA
        2. Determine placement of Coca-Cola bins: DIA recommends the 20 Coca-Cola bins are placed in Grange Grove/on the way into the stadium (portal 1 and 2)
        3. Staff recycling dumpsters to prevent them from becoming trash sites
          1. F&S may have a tent that can be used – check with Safety & Compliance
          2. iSEE does not have a tent
          3. F&S – print banners to hang on dumpsters?
            1. Green dumpster will be marked, ask Shawn Patterson
    2. Welcome Week Lunch
      1. 7 student volunteers gathered + 2 F&S staff
    3. Volunteer / giveaway t-shirts
      1. 200 green volunteer shirts – for Welcome Week, Tailgating, and other small events that may arise
      2. 300 orange giveaway shirts – for Tailgate Recycling
        1. Incentivize tailgaters to drop off their blue recycling bags
    4. Coca-Cola bins
      1. Metal framing is expected to arrive Friday 8/11
      2. Wrap renderings are being finalized, discussing on Wednesday with Jake
    5. iSEE – hydration station map live
      2. iSEE developing a video highlighting campus hydration stations for new student convocation


  10. All Sports are Water Sports





    Play to Zero Playbook





    Dear Colleagues,

    We are excited to present the first-ever Playbook on Water for Sports & Entertainment Venues. This playbook will set the stage for why water matters and how venues can become driving forces for water protection and restoration. Through sharing lessons learned and practical approaches to reduction, reclamation, reuse and replenishment; we, together, can help ensure our communities become more resilient to growing impacts from climate and other stressors.

    Access to clean and affordable water is essential to the sports industry and our collective health and well-being.... The impact to our communities and fans is critical to address. 

    It's clear that more investment, more assistance and more leadership from individuals, policymakers, businesses and increasingly from the members of the Green Sports Alliance, is needed to protect our essential water resources. Sports and entertainment venues have an opportunity to be good water stewards and lead by example.

    I hope that this playbook provides you with the inspiration, resources and examples necessary to start your own journey to ensuring water remains safe, reliable and accessible for all of our communities.

    - Roger McClendon, Executive Director of Green Sports Alliance [READ THE FULL LETTER FROM ROGER HERE]





    This playbook focuses on four key strategies across drinking water, wastewater and stormwater management:

    Strategy 1: Understand your Water Baseline

    Strategy 2: Water Efficiency

    Strategy 3: Water Reuse

    Strategy 4: Water Replenishment & Ecosystem Stewardship

    Each strategy provides a baseline knowledge and resources for you to further explore the concepts presented and a corresponding Green Sports Alliance member case study designed to share lessons learned, best practices and tips for your future success.



    #1 Commit ➡️ #2 Learn ➡️ #3 Plan ➡️ #4 Three E's ➡️ #5 Celebrate 🎉







    Thank you to our Playbook Contributors!

    Dune Ives, Lead Author | CEO of Movements That Matter and GSA Board Member

    Green Sports Alliance Corporate Members | Stantec and Xylem, Inc.

    A special thanks to our Water Playbook Editorial Board Members, Green Sports Alliance Leadership/Staff and our Graphic Design/Copy Editing Team! 


  11. 6-28-23 External Meeting

    Attendance: Jake Slager, Shawn Patterson, Thurman Etchison, Jen Fraterrigo, Steve Breitwieser, Travis Tate, Shreya Mahajan, Daphne Hulse

    Coke Updates:

    • Jake is now officially solely focused on colleges and universities
    • RVAT totes
      • Nothing charged for totes or for transportation
      • Chloroplast wrap and cut-outs are about $150 each x 20 = $3,000 (probably does not include transportation)
      • Keep these recycling only
      • 2-3 weeks lead time for wrap
      • Coca-Cola has the rendering for royal blue. Can make tweaks and changes
      • Couple $100 to edit or change the wrap design
      • Daphne’s to-do: Update QR code for new website
      • Make sure bins have clear messaging just for “bottles and cans”
      • These bins would be used for tailgating near to Memorial Stadium, ideally

    Reusable Cups/Bottles

    • Coke is supportive of reusable cups
      • Yeti sponsors for reusable cups
    • Making an effort to push sustainability early in the college processes
      • Encourage use of reusable bottles
      • Use tap water from filler stations
      • Cut back on waste
      • Where there are purchases, ensure that the recycling bin is used
      • Ohio State’s effort with reusable bottles has been mixed success (MyCup program)
      • Indiana did something similar. It was costly and mixed results there, too
        • Jake will get more plugged in on these programs at different schools


      • 100th year of Memorial Stadium
        • Ohio State did something similar with their 100th year
        • Sustainability can be incorporated in here, too

    Engagement opportunities

      • GoGreen - Eric Green - not a large sample size
        • Jake talked with David Watson, who is in contact with Eric
        • Shreya’s experience as a student: without the incentive behind it, it’s not going to encourage students to regularly use it
      • Looking into Rockwire Illinois App to see how we can encourage plastic reduction

    Welcome Week

    • T-shirts
      • Mid July get the quantities for the welcome week
      • Orange shirt may fit well with giveaway items for tailgating

    Bigger Conversations

    • Path forward - Be Orange Go Green, Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste, Don’t Waste
      • How do we differentiate, make it clear to the public what is what?
      • Is tailgating a fighting illini, fighting waste event?


  12. 6-26-23 Internal Meeting

    On June 26, UIUC sustainability representatives met to discuss the following:

    Attendance: Shawn Patterson, Marty Kaufmann, Thurman Etchison, Bryan Johnson, Shreya Mahajan, Naveen Reddy, Daphne Hulse

    1. Tailgating / Welcome Week

      1. Coca-Cola ordered 20 recycling bins (metal frame)

        1. Cost will come from the wraps, Jake gathering a quote

      2. Welcome Week Dining - planning meetings that zero waste could join?

        1. Moved to Grange Grove for this year

        2. Thursday, 13th at 9am next meeting (N end)

        3. Consider t-shirts for volunteers

    2. Housing Insider Newsletter

      1. Housing marketing team willing to consider sustainability submissions for consideration in their newsletters, but likely not every edition

      2. Next steps from here? Think about Eweek, iNews, GradLinks as places to include sustainability information, get the larger population thinking about sustainability

    3. Plastic waste reduction

      1. Gathering information, exploring strategies used by peer schools

      2. Aim - engaging/lighthearted

    4. Wednesday 6/28 - meeting with Coca-Cola

      1. Discuss cost of wrap for 20 bins

      2. Assess where we are at with the shared budget

      3. Discuss volunteer shirts for tailgating & explore giveaway items/incentives

      4. Discuss volunteer shirts for Welcome Week

      5. Anything else to add to the agenda for Wednesday?

  13. 6-12-23 Internal Meeting

    On June 12, UIUC sustainability representatives met to discuss the following:

    Attendance: Shreya Mahajan, Thurman Etchison, Marty Kaufmann, Julie Wurth, Steve Breitwieser, Jen Fraterrigo, Bryan Johnson, Daphne Hulse

    In progress: iCAP Zero Waste Recommendations

    • ZW010: Tailgate Recycling:
      • Transmitted to Josh Whitman – approved.
      • Next steps:
        • Meet with iSEE/DIA POC to finalize plans for fall.
        • Meet with Jake Slager to discuss incentives for the event.
        • Meet with relevant groups for after-game pickup (Grange Grove, Stadium seats)
    • ZW011: Recycling Bins at State Farm Center:
      • Transmitted to Josh Whitman and Tim Knox.

    In progress: Welcome Week 2023

    • Friday, August 18: Welcome Celebration Lunch in Lot 31. 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes.
    • Planning a recycling-focused event with the help of outdoor recycling bins from Coca-Cola and student volunteers.
    • Proposed bin: RVAT
      • Length x width x height = 47” x 39” x 40.5” (interior framing). Cannot be collapsed for storage.
      • Wrapping with Don’t Waste messaging can be collapsed for storage.
      • Transported via pallets.
      • Can be used for other outdoor purposes (recycling near Memorial Stadium entrances)
      • Cost: wraps. Jake is working on an estimate based on the quantity available.
    • Students from SECS, SSLC, Project4Less, SSC on campus over the summer
    • Next steps:
      • Where could we store these? How many could we store?

    Exploring: Housing Insider Newsletter - Sustainability Highlight

    • Conceptually similar to “Don’t Waste Wednesdays” approach – sustainability initiatives across different campus units.
    • Housing Marketing Team to determine what is feasible.
      • Chris Axtmen-Barker
    • Dining – plan for advertising sustainability initiatives in the upcoming academic year?

    Completed: Water Bottle Station Inventory

    • Encourage campus community to use reusable bottles across the locations identified.
    • Inventoried state-supported, McKinley, Illini Union/Bookstore, DIA, Housing, KCPA facilities.
    • Clarifying fancy vs simple bottle filler stations in the legend:
      • Include pictures where we post
  14. 6-1-23 External Meeting

    On June 1, 2023 UIUC representatives and Coca-Cola met to discuss the following:

    Attendance: Naveen Baarla, Jen Fraterrigo, Jake Slager, Marty Kaufmann, Shreya Mahajan, Sarah Carten, Travis Tate

    • Recycling Value Assessment - Tour

      • UIUC recognized as a best in class MRF

    • Upcoming events:

      • Welcome Week Lunch

        • Friday, August 18 Lot 31

        • After State Farm Center convocation

      • Move in week

      • Tailgate recycling (near memorial stadium)

    • Rvat

      • Bottles and cans collector

      • 4’ tall flag pole

      • 48w x 40d x 41h

      • Don’t Waste messaging

      • Could work well with lunch and tailgate recycling (near the collection sites, not near memorial stadium)

      • Tested at Kentucky Derby, test sites at retail stores

        • Jake has a follow up with the Derby tomorrow and will see how the vat use was received

      • Aluminum and steel, chloroplast material. can put a weight down to ensure that it doesn’t blow away

      • On a pallet

    • Competitive bin options

      • Could be near the memorial stadium entrances

      • Could brand it with DIA sports, football

  15. ICAP Recommendation Engagement005 DIA and Green Sports Alliance

    On April 10, 2023 Jennifer Fraterrigo sen the following email:

    Dear Mr. Whitman and Tim,

    The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group (iWG) recently approved recommendation Engagement005 from the Engagement iCAP Team for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to formally join the Green Sports Alliance. The expectation is that doing so would increase the visibility of campus sustainability efforts and put UIUC on par with fellow Big10 institutions that are integrating sustainability into athletics. Additional details are provided in the attached recommendation.

    The Formal iCAP Procedures include a section on campus unit responsibilities upon receipt of a recommendation, and we respectfully request your response to this recommendation by May 5, if possible. If you have any questions regarding this recommendation, we are happy to jump on a call with you to discuss it.


    Jennifer Fraterrigo


    On May 2, 2023 Josh Whitman responded:


    The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) approves the recommendation to formally join the Green Sports Alliance at the $2,500 Premier Membership level. Assistant Athletic Director Tim Knox will be responsible for coordinating the implementation for DIA.



    On May 4, 2023 Jennifer forwarded the previous thread to Sarthak:

    Hi Sarthak – one more!

    Please mark this as successful on the portal; response below.




    On May 20, 2023 Morgan White responded to Jennifer:

    Hi Jen, Daphne, and Betsy,

    I suggest we invite Tim Knox to a meeting, to see what support he may need from F&S and iSEE in this endeavor.  What do you think?  Or has something like that already happened?




    On May 22, 2023 Betsy Ligget replied with the following email and attached documents:

    This is great news, thank you for sharing! I’m happy to join a meeting with DIA regarding Green Sports Alliance, please let me know when I can assist with the transition. The last annual membership invoice (10-13-22) is attached and is for the Nov. 1st, 2022 - Nov. 30th, 2023 time period.

    I have also attached the 2021 membership letter for everyone’s files.

    Thanks again,



  16. Tailgate Recycling Update

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team submitted ZW010: Tailgate Recycling to the iWG on March 22, 2023. On April 19, 2023, the iWG transmitted the approved recommendation to the DIA and F&S leaders, Josh Whitman and Ehab Kamarah.

  17. Engagement005 DIA and Green Sports Alliance - Successful

    Following is the response from DIA:


    The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) approves the recommendation to formally join the Green Sports Alliance at the $2,500 Premier Membership level. Assistant Athletic Director Tim Knox will be responsible for coordinating the implementation for DIA.


    See the iWG assessment for Engagement005 DIA and Green Sports Alliance here.

    For future updates, please refer to the Green Sports Alliance project here.

  18. 5-1-23 Internal Meeting

    On May 1, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:


    Attendance: Julie Wurth, Marty Kaufmann, Shawn Patterson, Thurman Etchison, Bryan Johnson, Steve Breitwieser, Jen Fraterrigo, Daphne Hulse


    • External meeting with Coca-Cola canceled last week

      • Daphne to meet with Jake Slager Wednesday to discuss:

        • Heavy-duty bins to replace ‘cardboard’ bins for outdoor events (Welcome Week).

        • Football tailgate recycling plan. Make this a Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste expansion.

        • UIUC Materials Recovery Facility - Detroit Airport (DTW) wants to hear about UIUC operations.

    • Dump & Run

      • F&S and Housing communications

      • iSEE communications

  19. DIA & GSA

    That is my vote as well.


    My boss approved the Green Sports Alliance membership as well as a plan for recycling in our tailgate lots.  A couple of “wins” I wanted to share.


    Tim Knox


    Good news


    Morgan White


    Thanks for the update Morgan, DIA involvement in Green Sports Alliance, that is great news!


    Safety & Compliance paid the annual GSA membership fee in October 2022 if needed for reference. If I receive any email reminders from them I will let you know. It would be great if DIA/Tim could also stay in touch when they renew so we know the process is complete.


    Also to recap Daphne, Meredith, Colleen and I had a meeting with GSA rep Brad Vogel in October and they were supposed to get back in touch about their Executive Director speaking with the athletic department contact to help explain opportunities & get them involved. I haven’t heard anything more about this, not sure if others did.

    Thanks again,