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Projects Updates for Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste

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  1. 3-2-23 Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste Results

    Good afternoon,


    Thank you for volunteering at the Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste event last Thursday! You were among ~100 other student volunteers who signed up and helped initiate recycling within State Farm Center. The community-level work you have done to raise awareness for sustainability is invaluable.


    During this event, you helped divert 1,280 pounds of recyclable material away from the landfill! In total, 28% of the materials consumed at this event were diverted away from the landfill. We are incredibly impressed with this number. What a feat!


    As a part of our improvement process for future events, we invite you to complete this anonymous Google Form survey.


    Are you interested in joining other sustainability initiatives on campus?

    • Browse through the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Teams, and reach out to those you are interested in attending.
    • Sign up for a tour of the university’s Waste Transfer Station and learn about what happens after trash and recycling are thrown in the bin.
    • 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 the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment’s (iSEE) Illini Lights Out event coming up on Friday, March 24 from 5:30-7:00pm.
    • Attend the 2023 iSEE Congress: Addressing Crises of Planetary Scale
    • Join iSEE, Volunteer Illini Projects (VIP), Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS), and Facilities & Services on Thursday, April 18 for Earth Month Trash Pickup!


    Thank you,


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

  2. 3-6-23 Internal Meeting

    On March 6, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Tony Mancuso, Julie Wurth, Marty Kaufmann, Jen Fraterrigo, Steve Breitwieser, Shawn Patterson, Travis Tate, Daphne Hulse


    1. Discussed the results from the 3-2-23 game.
      1. F&S will post for Don't Waste Wednesdays.
      2. iSEE will post on their newsletter in a couple weeks.
    2. Jen to assist with calculating the recapture rate -- Daphne to provide the bottles and cans to weigh.
    3. Email Travis and Steve the document shown (Shawn's calculation notes).
    4. Todd Wilson -- U of I homepage: send the March 2 results.
    5. How do we stand across the Big Ten schools for recycling at athletic events? Investigate
  3. iSEE Quarterly update for Winter 2022

    Greetings, Colleagues,


    I hope the start of 2023 is going well. I’m reaching out today to send you iSEE Quarterly update for Winter 2022 from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.


    For more up-to-date news from iSEE, please sign up for our E-newsletter at





    • Registration is open for iSEE Congress 2023 — “Addressing Crises of a Planetary Scale: Lessons from Pandemics and Climate Change.”
    • The Fall 2023 Critical Conversation is expected to bring together stakeholders to discuss climate-smart commodities.
    • iSEE’s Environmental Leadership Program for Spring 2023 is already more than past the midway point; check out our student blog for some perspective on the immersive learning experience.
    • Read a Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW) success story in former Q author and CEW recipient Zack Fishman.



    • Our Grind2Energy video explored how dining hall food waste produces energy and fertilizer; its release spurred coverage by The News-Gazette and WCIA-TV.
    • iSEE’s new, more comprehensive Student Action webpage offers listings for iSEE jobs, volunteering, and student organizations to join.
    • Illini Lights Out fall semester featured RECORD totals: more than 640 volunteers turned off 20,303 bulbs, saving the campus as much as 35,000 kWH, $3,090, and nearly 25 tons of GHG. Spring dates: Jan. 27 (130+ volunteers, 5,043 bulbs, 8,700 kWH, $760, 6.2 tons of GHG), Feb. 10 and 24, March 24, and April 21.
    • At the November Zero Waste basketball game (see video) more than 280 pounds of beverage containers and other recyclables were diverted from the landfill. The next Zero Waste basketball game March 2 seeks 100 volunteers. iSEE partnering with F&S, Housing, Athletics, and Union for a #don’twasteWednesdays twitter campaign all spring. FALL PLAN: a ZW football tailgate.
    • A new Waste Transfer Station video shows the great work by Facilities & Services — but also the need for all campus community members to pre-sort their recyclables to prevent them from becoming landfill waste.
    • Greener Campus certifications in the new year: One new office (Visit Champaign County!), one new chapter (Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority), and nine new events (including Illini Lights Out) certified in January.
    • Read our article about the sustainable features of Campus Recreation and our feature about the new beekeeping club on campus.


    Thanks for reading, and best wishes for the remainder of the spring semester!



    Madhu Khanna



    Madhu Khanna

    Pronouns: she, her

    Alvin H. Baum Family Chair & Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment

    ACES Distinguished Professor in Environmental Economics

    Co-Director, Center for Economics of Sustainability

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    1301, W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801




  4. 2-20-23 Internal Meeting

    On February 20, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Tony Mancuso, Jen Fraterrigo, Shawn Patterson, Julie Wurth, Steven Breitwieser, Travis Tate, Marty Kaufmann, Daphne Hulse


    1. Basketball game

      1. Volunteers: Marty

        1. Volunteers checking in at the main west entrance?

        2. Place for volunteer coats and bags / giveaway t-shirts?

          1. Marty to check in with SFC

        3. Timing

          1. Move up first shift to 4:30 for bin placement (*note in reminder email*)

      2. Communications: Group feedback

        1. F&S crafted messaging for the upcoming game: feedback? [see word document]

      3. Media: iSEE

        1. Photography/videography: night of the event? (post-game pickup)

          1. iSEE interns

          2. Talk with F&S communications

      4. Post-game feedback: Marty

        1. Did you notice that this was a recycling-focused game? YES/NO

        2. Did you know State Farm Center recycles bottles and cans? YES/NO

        3. Did you recycle your cans and/or bottles at this game? YES/NO/I HAD NO RECYCLABLES

        4. Would you like to see more recycling initiatives at State Farm Center? YES/NO

        5. Did you know you can bring your own empty, clear plastic water bottle, up to 32 ounces to State Farm Center? YES/NO

        6. Post-season survey - could be incorporated here - Marty to investigate

      5. Post-game recycling estimates: Jen, Shawn

        1. It is possible to capture concession data from the single event [see excel sheet]

        2. Quantity of plastic bottles and aluminum cans sold at the event

          1. Estimate the weight of an empty can and bottle

          2. Of the total pounds of recyclables collected, estimate what percentage each material makes up. Percentage and weight, estimate % of bottles that were sold recycled, % of cans that were sold recycled

          3. Purpose:

            1. Part of the Coca-Cola contract (achieve 100% recycling of bottles and cans by 2030).

            2. Helpful to know how far we are until we cap out on possible recycling at these events (“we only captured and recycled roughly 50% of the bottles and cans sold that night”).

        3. Use relative proportions found in the bowl pick

        4. Don’t know the premium area information (missing data), though it is a small proportion


  5. 2-6-23 Internal Meeting

    On February 6, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Bryan Johnson, Steve Breitwieser, Julie Wurth, Shawn Patterson, Dominika Szal, Travis Tate, Jen Fraterrigo, Thurman Etchison, Pete Varney, Tony Mancuso, Daphne Hulse


    1. Housing/Dining: #Don’tWasteWednesday

      1. Housing is prepared for their post on Wednesday.

    2. Housing/Dining: Glass hauling to Midwest Fiber

      1. Thurman reported that Dining does not pay to dispose of (recycle) their glass at Midwest Fiber.

        Tailgate recycling Fall 2023 - exploring glass recycling.

      2. Dominika will follow up with Midwest Fiber.

    3. iSEE: Basketball volunteer sign-up timeline

      1. Daphne to create the sheet, iSEE/Eric to send out/promote.

      2. Volunteer numbers:

        1. 15 sign up spots for 5:00pm-6:30pm (set up, advertisement to those entering)

        2. 35 sign up spots for 6:30pm - 8:00pm (half-time collection, t-shirt giveaway)

        3. 50 sign up spots for 8:00pm - 9:30pm (end-game collection, arena collection, tear down)

    4. iSEE: Earth Week/Month programming - interns/Tony/Eric Green

      1. Office Supplies Collection - check on timing of this. Already a lot is planned!

        1. Bypass Surplus: <$100, no p-tag - loop in Steve Breitwieser/Travis Tate into this conversation.

        2. “Take it or leave it,” allow students, faculty, staff, to take and leave items, donate excess office supplies to local schools.

      2. Arbor Day & Tree Planting - ?

      3. Trash Pick-Up - iSEE interns looking into this.

    5. F&S CRC: F&S basketball communications strategy

      1. Digital signboards across campus - Coca-Cola to provide a digital sign.

      2. Eweek, GradLinks, iNews posts

      3. Other recommendations?

        1. Outreach to media (recap of previous game, segue into long-term direction).

          1. Daphne to send info to Steve.

          2. Jen: Tim Knox says single-ticket and season-ticket holders receive information. Can we raise visibility of this event to them? Highlight reusable bottle policy. Daphne + Jen to work with Marty + Tim.

    6. Group feedback: Game day posters design

      1. Consistent branding with the digital signboards.

      2. Communicate the primary objective of the event.

        1. Feedback

          1. Reduce sponsorship size - remove F&S and iSEE change to general university, move to bottom

          2. Increase size of text, remove “with us,” consider removing “Bottles & Cans”

          3. Increase the size of recycling logo

    7. Group feedback: Post-game survey

      1. Did you notice that this was a recycling-focused game? YES/NO

      2. Did you know State Farm Center recycles bottles and cans? YES/NO

      3. Did you recycle your cans and/or bottles at this game? YES/NO/I HAD NO RECYCLABLES

      4. Would you like to see more recycling initiatives at State Farm Center? YES/NO

      5. Can we use this as a vehicle for messaging re: reusable bottles?

        1. Did you know you can bring your own clear, reusable bottle to [check DIA language] athletic events? YES/NO


  6. 1-25-23 External Meeting

    On January 25, UIUC sustainability representatives met with Coca-Cola and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Jake Slager, Jen Fraterrigo, Thurman Etchison, Steve Breitwieser, Bryan Johnson, Sarah Carten, Shawn Patterson, Dominika Szal, Daphne Hulse


    1. Zero Waste men’s basketball game Thursday, March 2 at 6pm (vs. Michigan).

      1. This is a Coca-Cola partnership game, so Jake will be there.

      2. Continue integrations with the DIA as we move forward, rather than pushing to be at the center of attention.

      3. F&S Zero Waste Team to plan and execute.

        1. Work out the logistics with State Farm Center recycling.

      4. iSEE will connect to volunteer base to pull 75-100 volunteers.

      5. Coca-Cola:

        1. Digital signage.

          1. Advertise across campus ahead of the event.

          2. Signage we can create that will be printed for use? Student volunteers said the Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste signage they were holding didn't make it clear to attendees what was going on.

        2. T-shirts: volunteer and giveaway.

    2. Recycling Value Assessment audit details:

      1. Afternoon of February 16.

      2. Jake, Daphne, and Shawn will discuss in more detail.

    3. Campaign updates:

      1. Don’t Waste Wednesdays.

    4. Coca-Cola video from the 11/14 game.


  7. 1-23-23 Internal Meeting

    On January 9, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:


    Attendance: Marty Kaufmann, Thurman Etchison, Dominika Szal, Jen Fraterrigo, Pete Varney, Shawn Patterson, Tony Mancuso, Steve Breitwieser, Travis Tate, Bryan Johnson, Julie Wurth, Daphne Hulse



    1. Meeting Cadence

      1. Reduced to every other week, based on a conversation Daphne Hulse and Jen Fraterrigo had. They would like to hold strategic meetings for initiatives that extend beyond recycling (focus on waste reduction).

    2. External Meeting with Coca-Cola (Jake Slager)

      1. First of the semester: Wednesday, January 25 (1-1:30pm).

      2. Once per month.

      3. Agenda: discuss upcoming basketball game, Don’t Waste Wednesdays campaign, Coca-Cola video from the 11/14 men’s basketball game.

    3. DIA Sustainability Initiatives

      1. Zero Waste Big Ten Men’s Basketball Game

        1. F&S Zero Waste leading the effort, with support from iSEE, DIA, Coca-Cola.

        2. Tentatively Thursday, March 2 6pm (versus University of Michigan).

        3. More operational than forward-facing.

        4. 75-100 volunteers working in shifts. Emphasis on after-game stand pick up.

          1. Tom Divan - contact to confirm the logistics of the after-game stand pick up.

          2. Next steps:

            1. Logistics

              1. Address tunnel situation under the State Farm Center (include Shawn Patterson in this discussion).

            2. Volunteers

              1. Use iSEE’s volunteer network.

              2. Provide Marty with the names of student volunteers.

              3. Volunteers can still check-in at main west entrance, though we cannot use the Orange Krush area again.

            3. Messaging - bringing reusable bottles?

              1. Seek a sponsorship for this initiative.

              2. Giveaway versus selling?

              3. Consider DIA messaging a topic for a smaller, strategic meeting.

        5. Measuring the efficacy of the recycling effort

          1. Marty reached out to concessionaire - will follow up. Data from the concessionaire helps us understand how many items actually end up recycled.

          2. F&S measures these weights separate from the rest of campus waste.

      2. State Farm Center permanent recycling bins

        1. F&S Zero Waste working with the facility to perform an audit, create a cost breakdown, and justification for recycling infrastructure.

        2. Submit an iCAP recommendation by the end of the semester.

      3. Fall 2023 Tailgate Recycling

        1. F&S Zero Waste + iCAP Zero Waste working with Tim Knox on developing a plan for comprehensive tailgate recycling.

        2. Document is in progress…

        3. Loop in Coca-Cola when plan is more formalized.

      4. Student Involvement

        1. Students from the iCAP Zero Waste team are interfacing with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (a committee made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience) to determine how best students can approach sustainability initiatives within Athletics.

        2. Combine our top-down staff/faculty approaches with a bottom-up student approach.

    4. Don’t Waste Wednesdays Campaign

      1. First post: iSEE on Wednesday, January 25.

      2. iSEE working on social media backgrounds.


  8. 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?
  9. 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

  10. 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