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Projects Updates for America Recycles Day

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  1. Final Report: successes, areas for improvement, and feedback

    On November 28, 2022 during the weekly Internal Coca-Cola meeting the group reviewed the attached final report.

    Important takeaways:

    • 280 lbs of recycling was collected (cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles), with an event diversion rate of 10.6%. With just incremental changes (student volunteers, recycling bin infrastructure in the upper concourse, and the implementation of blue recycling bags), we achieved this! An even greater diversion rate would not be difficult to achieve.
    • Organizing student volunteers into a shift-based system would cut volunteer time per student, streamline the volunteer training process, and simplify volunteer roles. We could incentivize pre- and post-game volunteerism with tickets to the game.
    • Stronger, more durable blue recycling bags are needed for future events if we are going to have student volunteers handling them; they leak easily otherwise.
    • Dedicate a group of volunteers to just post-game collection from the stands. There is a huge opportunity to collect recyclables left in the cup holders.
    • Feedback from volunteers and attendees was very positive:
      • In a post-event survey released to attendees, 300+ responses showed the following:
        • 51% of attendees were aware that this was a recycling-focused event.
        • 55% of attendees did recycle their bottles and/or cans.
        • 83% of attendees would support future recycling events at State Farm Center.
        • General comments indicated overall support for seeing the volunteers in action and support for the implementation of permanent recycling containers at the facility.

    Next steps:

    • Between F&S and DIA, determine how a recycling receptacle can be placed near the facility so blue recycling bags can be separated from the trash compactor located below the facility.
    • Draft a proposal for permanent recycling bin locations and the associated cost.
    • Look into Coca-Cola beverage sales (20oz and 12oz) and compare this to an estimate of how many were recycled. Coca-Cola and the University would like to see a 100% recycling rate for their products.
    • Plan for the next event! Likely spring 2023 during the basketball season. Big Ten?
  2. Zero Waste Basketball Game Follow-up 11-16-22

    Thank you for volunteering for the inaugural Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste event on 11/14! You were among more than 45 other student volunteers who helped initiate recycling within State Farm Center! The community-level work you have done to raise awareness for sustainability has helped us strengthen our relationship with Athletics and the fans who attended the game.

    During this event, you helped divert 280 pounds of recyclable material away from the landfill! In total, roughly 11% of the materials consumed at this event were diverted away from the landfill. With this being our very first event, this is something to be extremely proud of. We can only go up from here!

    Make sure to check out the video highlight reel that the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) produced. Did you take any photos of your own during the event? Please upload them to our shared Google Drive folder!

    Are you interested in joining other sustainability initiatives on campus?

    • Join the Zero Waste Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Team or browse through the other 6 teams.
    • Sign the Use the Bin pledge and commit to always using the recycling bin. We’re working towards our 10,000-signature goal!
    • Sign up for iSEE’s final Illini Lights Out event this semester on 12/2.
    • Sign up for iSEE’s upcoming TED Talk discussion on 12/5 to learn about healthy soils.

    Thank you again for volunteering your time. Please reach out with any questions, feedback, or ideas for future events.

    Daphne Hulse

  3. Zero Waste Basketball Game on 11/14/22

    Support Fighting Illini Basketball and fight waste!

    DIA, iSEE, and F&S are working together to hold a zero-waste Illini men's basketball game Monday, Nov. 14, in honor of America Recycles Day on Nov. 15!

    Fans can help the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign meet its zero-waste goals by using recycling bins for drink containers and other recyclables to keep them out of the landfill!

    For more information -->…/waste-management-and-recycling

    See the graphic on social media here: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram 

  4. TED Talk: Eco-Edition Series - America Recycles Day on 11/15/22!

    Join us for iSEE's November TED Talk: Eco-Edition event in celebration of America Recycles Day! F&S Zero Waste Coordinator, Daphne Hulse, and Waste Management intern, Shreya Mahajan, will host the discussion on zero waste initiatives and its significance.

    Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk followed by a guided discussion and roundtable conversation. The TED Talk: Eco-Edition series is designed to unite campus and community members for a passionate, respectful, and thought-provoking dialogue about a certain aspect of sustainability. No preparation is necessary and all are welcome to this event!

    Sign up here to learn, discuss, and connect with peers in a casual, social setting. Grab your favorite snack and get comfortable! Topics and hosts vary each month.

    Nov 15, 2022 07:00 PM

  5. TED Talk: Eco-Edition Series - America Recycles Day 11/15/21

    iSEE's November TED Talk: Eco-Edition event was held on America Recycles Day, November 15, 2021! Nichole Millage (City of Champaign Environmental Sustainability Specialist) and Susan Monte (Champaign County Planner and Recycling Coordinator) led a thought-provoking discussion on the importance of recycling and our role in reducing waste and being part of the solution for solving our plastic pollution problem. The TED Talk by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, “Trash is Ruining Recycling” highlighted new innovations and a mindset pivot where we no longer fuel the supply and demand cycle of single-use and non-sustainable items. I encourage you all to share the TED Talk, the presentation (attached), and other information and resources with your colleagues, friends, and families. Continue the conversation and share ideas on our Facebook group, Waste Reduction @ Illinois!

    There are no shortage of resources, documentaries, and information on our waste problem and potential solutions, and we applaud you for staying engaged and informed! Helping to keep the momentum going and spreading the word is a great place to start. Here are a few additional resources that were published this month:

    As a reminder, the TED Talk: Eco-Edition series is a monthly event that is open to everyone. We hope to see you at our next event on Thursday, December 9 at 6 PM (sign up here!). Be sure to sign up for the iSEE Newsletter to stay up-to-date on campus and community sustainability initiatives, programs, events, and opportunities. Lastly, do you promise to always use the recycling bin? You should! Sign the pledge!

    Please reach out with any questions, ideas, or feedback – we’d love to hear from you! Thanks again!