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Projects Updates for Grind2Energy

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  1. Funding Approval for Grind2Energy

    Ehab Kamarah and Madhu Khanna approved $135,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for the Grind2Energy system.

    "This project will install the Grind2Energy system for food waste at the Lincoln Avenue
    Dining Hall on campus... Housing has successfully installed the Grind2Enery system as a sustainable solution for dining hall pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste in four of the five dining halls. This funding would allow them to complete the final installation before the student body returns in fall 2022." -Morgan White (12/14/2021)

     

    An email of approval is attached below.

  2. Information Regarding Grind2Energy Funding for LAR

    The following message was sent to Morgan White to share with Carbon Credit Fund Administrators by Thurman Etchison, the Assistant Director of Dining - Facilities and Equipment, on November 18, 2021. The email & attachments contain important information regarding the potential installation of a Grind2Energy system at LAR:

    Carbon Credit Fund Administrators,

     

    Housing Dining Services is seeking funds to add a Grind 2 Energy system to our Lincoln Avenue Dining Hall. Grind 2 Energy is a system that allows us to put our food waste into a pumpable slurry so that it may be taken to an anerobic digester at the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District. These systems replace the aerobic digesters we previously had in our dining units. The aerobic digesters had issues with the effluent not meeting EPA standards.

     

    This system would be our fifth and likely final system as we would have one at every residential dining location. These are operational at Ikenberry, PAR, FAR and ISR. Currently, University Housing does not have resources to fund this project due to the impact of COVID on our budget. We would reach out to the Student Sustainability Committee for funding but for us to do the infrastructure work and have the unit installed prior to the next school year, we need to start before the next round of submissions.

     

    The use of Grind 2 Energy has been a very successful program for us. It meets our needs, keeps us in compliance with regulatory bodies, is comparable in costs to other methods of disposal. It is very sustainable in terms of the environment. To date, we have diverted 289 tons of food waste even though there was limited use until this school year.

     

    The amount we are requesting is $133,538.00. A simple breakdown of our expected costs is below. As our tradespeople have installed the 4 previous units, we believe this number to be very accurate. Our last unit came in within $1000 of our estimate.

     

    LAR Grind 2 Energy – Preliminary Budget Cost

    • LAR Grind 2 Energy System (equipment and labor)…..................................................................... $86,000
      • (Rigging fees)........................................................................................................................... $4,650
    • Concrete Slab Work (existing planter modifications site work & new concrete slab)….................... $23,100
    • New Wall at Table (Demolition, floor work, ceiling work, MEP & new wall)…................................... $19,788
    • TOTAL:                                                                                                                                              $133,538

     

    I would like to add that these units are highly visible on campus and it is our intention to start highlighting the metrics in our dining units via electronic messaging. This may include digital displays, The Housing Insider and social media platforms. There is also great deal of interest in biogas impact from these units. I have met with 2 groups of students from the CEE 190 class about these units in the past month.

     

    In short, this program reduces carbon emissions, produces fertilizer and creates energy. The systems are highly reliable and have had almost no issues to date. Please see the attachments for additional info.

     

    Thank you for your consideration, 

     

    THURMAN ETCHISON


    Assistant Director of Dining - Facilities and Equipment

     

  3. Article Highlights Conversion of Food Waste Into Energy

    To combat the issue of food waste, U of I Housing collaborated with F&S Utilities & Energy Services, Operations, Maintenance & Alterations, and environmental compliance. The committee researched various food waste options, including composting, pulpers, and grinder systems used for anaerobic digestion -- including Grind2Energy systems.

    These operate similarly to an industrial garbage disposal. However, it uses significantly less water than the digester system, up to 90-95 percent less. Additionally, it does not send the waste directly to the sanitary sewer. The food waste is pumped into a 5000-6000 gallon tank located on the outside of the building it serves. A tanker truck empties the waste and takes it to the local sanitary district. The industrial-strength waste is processed in an anaerobic digester, where it undergoes treatment without oxygen. The methane produced is collected and used to generate electricity at the treatment plant.

    Read more about Grind2Energy use on campus through the F&S Website or the PDF in the attached files!

     

  4. 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.
  5. 11/13 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat from the Zero Waste SWATeam meeting on 11/13.

    Discussed were the following topics:

    • Update: Adopt-a-highway/Clean-up Program
    • Composting Partnership: Alex Poltorak of Urban Canopy
    • Student Project: Vermiculture Composting
    • Grind2Energy Additional Scope
    • Food Literacy Project
    • Update: Clean Plate Program
    • Purchasing Sustainability Update
  6. 11/13 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat from the Zero Waste SWATeam meeting on 11/13.

    Discussed were the following topics:

    • Update: Adopt-a-highway/Clean-up Program
    • Composting Partnership
    • Student Project: Vermicompost
    • Novel Scope Addition: Grind2Energy
    • Update: Food Literacy Project
    • Update: Clean Plate Program
    • Update: Sustainability within Purchasing (Website & Protocols)
  7. Grind2Energy

    Grind2Energy-horizontal.jpgGrind2Energy: Turning Campus Food Waste into Fuel

    The 49,000 students educated at the University of Illinois can generate a lot of food waste. Most of it winds up in a landfill. But for students with a dining hall plan, food waste is ultimately turned into energy, helping the campus reduce its carbon footprint.

    With the "Grind2Energy" system, food scraps are ground down and ultimately run through an anaerobic digester at the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District, producing methane that is used for fuel to power the plant. The system was installed at Florida Avenue Residence Halls last fall, and others are in the works.

    "Hopefully this small piece will be part of a bigger system down the road," said Thurman Etchison, Assistant Director of Housing Dining Services for Equipment and Facilities.

  8. Food Waste Management presentation to Housing

    On November 12, 2018, Sarthak Prasad from Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) presented a Food Waste Management study to compare the current mode of food waste management (EnviroPure) with 7 other food waste management equipment. 

    He recommended the Housing at UofI switched from the EnviroPure systems to InSinkerator's Grind2Energy systems as food waste processing system, before sending the processed food waste (in slurry form) to the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District (UCSD) in Urbana, IL. UCSD's Wastewater Treatment Plant  (WWTP) has existing anaerobic digesters that can convert food waste into valuable biogas for electricity generation.

    See attached the presentation in PDF form and the detailed cost analysis.

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