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  1. Weekly Update: Abandoned bicycles, new staff

    All, Big news of last week is the abandoned bikes. Bike Project folk and I were able to take an inventory of the bikes that are available and given the number of bikes—fewest in my tenure!—we are not partnering with Working Bikes this year. I communicated as much last week and no hard feelings. If anything, they’re happy to hear we have less bike waste—and they would know, they’ve got a 3 story building full of bikes.

    This week we have a couple new staff members starting here. We’ll do some off-hours training with them.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 40
    Sales: $1,030.50
    Memberships: 18 for $540

    Tires/tubes: 27 for $212


    Jacob Benjamin
    Coordinator -- Campus Bike Center

  2. Unclaimed abandoned bicycles donated to the Campus Bike Center

    Following the deadline day to claim impounded bicycles, Sarthak Prasad reached out to Jake Benjamin, campus bike center coordinator, to inform that these bicycles are now considered donated to the Campus Bike Center and the Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign. See the email below:

    Hi Jake,

    The deadline to claim impounded bicycles have passed, so you can start checking the bicycles in the barn now. These bicycles are now considered donated to the Campus Bike Center and the Bike Project. I have the serial number information for almost all of those bicycles in the spreadsheet as well. We had about 240ish bicycles to start with and 24 bicycles were returned this year.

    Thank you,


  3. iCAP Portal Admin Meeting - September 29, 2023

    Associated Project(s): 



    • Question about a TODO: "Collections page: Add image upload option". At a previous meeting we had this TODO, but what was the context? Was it to have a thumbnail for each Collection? Or a banner image? Or an image gallery?
    • Should we link to "Take Action" project from homepage?
      • Replace map link in Highlights?
      • Need to finish Take Action page content
    • SSC projects
      • May want to use this Archive of Funded Projects on old SSC site (2019) as a reference for showing SSC project info
      • Discussed using iCAP Portal projects for SSC projects page vs. maintaining own project pages directly on SSC website.
      • One possible challenge - SSC sometimes funds part of a project or provides funding for a period of time (e.g. 1 year) for a longer-term project, so only the project updates for that period of time are relevant, not all updates in perpetuity. How do we handle that?
      • Decided to start with map embed from Student Sustainability Committee Funded Projects collection, then look at adding card-based project embed as well.
    • Continue discussion of Fancy Page Layout (see the 4 mockups in the October 21, 2022 meeting notes)
    • Continue discussion of improving site's aesthetics
    • Archiving projects
      • Add "Archived" checkbox?
      • Add "Archived" to Visibility options?
      • Add "Archived" to Project Status options? (probably not - this mixes the status of the project itself with whether we still want it to show up on the site)
      • Remove from nested listings, still publicly available?


    • Main map:
      • Start with only Campus Tour locations shown (for now, start with Reporting Progress theme)
      • See CSU's campus map (Sustainability section) for inspiration
      • Smaller markers - working for Themes, not yet for Collections
      • Campus boundary, like ArcGIS Bicycle Map
      • Improve mobile filter?
      • Add "clear filters" option to show initial collection of projects
      • Add Full Screen option
      • Show only publicly visible Collections
    • Homepage has extra padding on right side on mobile
    • SSC project embedding: add category filtering options
    • (long term goal) look into importing information from another source, e.g. SSC students without iCAP Portal access can put together info in a structured format for automatic import into iCAP Portal
    • Look into Collection embedding again, à la Drawdown Solutions Library Sammy had found ("Filter by sector or area of action" section)
    • Metric search/display:
      • Theme (via connected Project, i.e. Theme -> Project -> Metric)
      • Most recent updates as of: (list of years) -> can we query Tracking data?
      • (Internal only) Last updated before (list of years) -> can we query Tracking data?
    • (Low Priority) Make column headers click-sortable on Projects by Project Status page
    • Fancy project layout mockups - keep tweaking #3 to improve contrast
    • Discuss metrics
      • Metrics with lots of data
      • Consider how to handle old metrics that no longer track new data. Archive somehow?
      • Fun with math (e.g. combining multiple metrics)
      • Calculated Metrics on Dev site
  4. Cetacean Exhibit Viewing Dates

    Associated Project(s): 

    Cetacean will be taking place during the times listed below.

    Deke Weaver: Cetacean

    CETACEAN (The Whale) is the sixth interdisciplinary performance from Deke Weaver’s The Unreliable Bestiary—a lifelong project representing an endangered animal or habitat. CETACEAN has evolved into a juxtaposition of lo-fi effects, story, video, dance, sound design, and a colossal installation—a plastic sea with plastic whales. It’s gonna be a whale of a show!

    September 28–October 2, 7:30 pm • University of Illinois Stock Pavilion, 1402 W Pennsylvania Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

  5. First Tailgate Recycling Event on 23rd September 2023

    Associated Project(s): 

    The first tailgate recycling event was conducted on September 23rd, 2023. We collected 1,000 pounds of recyclables using our blue bag distribution system, which is a wonderful number to build off of. Staff members, along with volunteers and interns, shared recycling information with tailgaters and encouraged them to recycle. Illini t-shirts were offered as rewards to those that segregated and recycled their waste effectively.



    In the 2022 football season, 228,520 pounds of trash was picked up from college football (including high school playoffs). The Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste initiative began with the understanding that our efforts to engage a community-wide audience on the issue of waste would be best executed through high-visibility athletic venues. Events with tens of thousands of visitors produce a sizable quantity of waste. Athletic events are also unique in that not only are we hosting students, faculty, and staff from our own university, but also rivals from other schools and visitors from across the state and country.


    We have made a commitment through our iCAP to set the tone that we recycle not only in our campus facilities, but also our events.



    Holding events such as tailgate recycling also allows us to view tailgate waste management through a boots-on-the-ground approach: where is waste produced, how is it produced, what is produced, and how can we divert it towards recycling as opposed to the landfill? We can then take our lessons learned and determine how best to integrate the approach within existing operations. The goal is to provide the necessary infrastructure and resources in a convenient manner, so that the act of recycling becomes a natural habit to tailgaters.


  6. Transportation 015 Fleet Replacement - Transmitted

    On 9/18/2023, the Transportation 015 Fleet Replacement recommendation was transmitted to Dr. Ehab Kamarah, Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Facilities & Services, with the following email. The iWG assessment is attached. 

    Dear Dr. Kamarah,

    The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group (iWG) recently approved recommendation Transportation015 from the Transportation iCAP Team to establish a framework for accomplishing iCAP 2020 Objective 3.1, which relates to developing a replacement plan for 80% of campus fleets by FY24 to improve university-owned vehicle efficiency. The specific tasks outlined in the recommendation are to (1) develop a definition for a “fleet” as it applies to campus vehicles; (2) establish fleet administrators in units with a fleet greater than five vehicles to assist with the development of a replacement plan; and (3) require fleet administrators to meet at least annually with the F&S Fleet Operations team. 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 October 13. If you have any questions regarding this recommendation, please let us know. 


    Jennifer Fraterrigo



    Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)

    iCAP Working Group co-chairs

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    Read the Trans015 Fleet Replacement recommendation here

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Illini Lights Out Event 9/15

    Associated Project(s): 

    On Fridays event, 2443 light bulbs were shut off that otherwise would have been left on all weekend, saving $371.69 in energy costs. This also prevented 2.94 metric tons of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 336 gallons of gasoline being consumed.

  11. Weekly Update: Busy times, Light the Night, abandoned bikes

    All, Pretty standard week. Busy with some wait time on stands/repairs most days. Had a Build-a-Bike completed—always a good thing. My team and I did Light the Night on Tuesday at the Ikenberry Quad area. First time in a new location always gets us some looks and questions. Not as busy as we hoped but again, it’s not yet familiar to folks. No word yet on numbers. 

    We were dangerously overloaded on scrap by Friday, but Todd pick it up over the weekend—always appreciated.

    This week I’ll do inventory of the abandoned bikes to see what’s worth keeping. Of note: Easily the fewest abandoned bikes in my tenure. I think my first year there were over 500 bikes left over. Maybe bike shares are really helping that issue (and maybe creating others)?

    This week I’ll have two new staffers start. It’s apparently midterms, so reinforcements are paramount.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 62
    Sales: $1,122.50
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $50
    Memberships: 20 for $600
    Tires/tubes: 26 for $192


    Jacob Benjamin
    Coordinator -- Campus Bike Center

  12. Deadline passed, final number of bicycles returned

    The period to reclaim impounded bicycles from summer 2023 has now passed. We had impounded about 240 bicycles in the summer and we returned 24 bicycles! That is a 10% reclamation rate, as compared to 5% in 2022. This was the least number of abandoned bicycles impounded ever on campus!

    All of the unclaimed bicycles are now considered donated. Sarthak Prasad will reach out to Campus Bike Center to let them know that they can start removing these bicycles. Since there are only about 200 unclaimed bicycles, we may not donate them to Working Bikes this year.

  13. Invites sent to students

    An invite was sent to 12 students to register to participate in the first ever "Learn How to Ride" class. See the email below:


    Hope you are doing well. We have rescheduled the Learn How to Ride a bike class to October 7, 2023! Please respond to this email or register before Friday, September 29, 2023!

    Thank you for filling out the Bike Class Form on the Bike at Illinois website. You had mentioned that you would like to take a “Learn How to Ride” class. The University of Illinois is organizing a “Learn How to Ride” class on Saturday, October 7, 2023 from 11 am to 1:30 pm. Please register to participate in this class:

    This is the first time we are going to organize a class such as this, so please make sure to arrive on time if you are able to participate. This class will be available to you free of cost. The University is covering the cost for contracting the two local League Cycling Instructors to teach this class, the equipment, and logistics to organize this class.

    The class will take place at the basketball courts adjacent to the Volleyball courts at the intersection of Stadium Dr and Oak St (opposite to the Nuclear Physics Laboratory). We will provide bicycles for this class, but if you already have a bicycle, please bring it for fitting.

    Please fill out the form at your earliest convenience, and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you,

  14. Green Research Committee 4th Meeting

    September 20, 2023 Green Research Committee Meeting 4


    Present: Stephanie Hess, Tim Mies, Jennifer Fraterrigo, Paul Foote, Jeremy Neighbors, Shari Effert-Fanta, Lisa Moore, Morgan White, Chad Stevens, Sabrina Summers, Maisie Kingren, Daphne Hulse


    Absent: Mitchell Bryant


    High-level overview (Jeremy leads)

    • Full-time GR Coordinator
      • Reduce, reuse, and recycle campaign headed by the new coordinator.
    • Centralized location for chemicals
      • Tim: are there concerns or risks with transporting.
      • Stephanie: opportunity for reuse. Repurpose bottles. ECE, MRL, SCS (no space here though). Various locations that we can split up. Lot of labs have bottles that they use up
    • Grad student to help coordinate reduce, reuse, recycle. Additional student supports the GR coordinator with tasks as needed.
      • Morgan: need a full-time staff person for GR. But it is not enough. Need a student or two at least, to help support the staff. Without at least 2 paid students, you won’t get far. 40 hours’ worth of student time? During the school year, sometimes 2 students doing part-time still is not enough.
      • Jen: maybe consider what we need first for the program, before determining how many students to include (and staff). Start modest with our first proposal, with the expectation that we will build over time.
      • Paul: typically hire 2-5 students, some stay through the summer, to help with his energy-specific lab programs.
    • Where will this GR program reside? OVCRI office, with input from Madhu, Susan, and Ehab.
      • Morgan: is it in DRS or is it in iSEE? Both are under VCRI, so that makes sense. It is about sustainability with research. Include requirements in the job description to directly communicate to various stakeholders: research,
      • Paul: green research is all about change and adapting, which isn’t necessarily DRS culture. iSEE is always rolling out new initiatives and is very fluid.
      • Lisa: DRS works with regulation; sustainability is not regulation. Thought DRS first, but then looked into iSEE and thought that GR can be more easily built out under iSEE.
      • Morgan: happy to host it under F&S, but it makes more sense to have it under VCRI.
      • Jen: PI who has a lab perspective: already have a relationship with the audit. Potential to have a partnership with DRS in this new way.
      • Chad: safety is paramount over sustainability, so agree with Jen.
      • Stephanie: conversation with Daphne showed that breaking down barriers between units is very possible.
    • GR ambassadors (Jeremy)
      • Every department would have GR ambassadors, encourage it at the lab level. Would work routinely with the GR coordinator to roll out
      • Training curriculum, system for communicating what’s going on, what metrics we have, what results we’re seeing.
      • Behavior of labs and groups. Reduce, reuse, recycle campaign.
      • Shut the sash, use of equipment timers, can implement on day one.
      • Promoting some type of certification. Implement GR in other ways. Lab assessment tools (UIUC based internal, or MyGreenLab).
      • Certification would be a longer-term goal with the GR coordinator.
    • Incentives
      • Recognition is the primary way
      • Stephanie: faculty peer pressure, you want to be that person that is recognized for these initiatives. Susan promote some of these people might be good, too.
      • Chad: could there be monetary award for the research group for their future research. $2500 not a lot, $10K much more head-turning.
      • Tim Mies: Illinois Professionals (highlights), HR. Would that model work for this?
      • Stephanie: working with Patty to work on awards for safety (Oscars for safety). Could work well with research.
    • Communication and education
      • Well-developed education and outreach program for what we will do.
    • Safe energy conservation plans
      • Form task forces to address the two different processes in the charge:
        • How to hibernate labs
        • How to deal with renovation projects
      • Fully funded capital projects, facilities with significant infrastructure deficiencies, facilities without significant infrastructure deficiencies. Would need to be very collaborative. Building-by-building basis.
      • Morgan: 1.5 years to complete a campus facility assessment. December of 2024 all info will be up to date. It won’t cover all portions, because it’s more visual. How are the fume hoods being used?
      • Stephanie: Wondering the same question.
      • Chad: We don’t want to shut off a fume hood forever. There’s always going to be some revolving research based on grants, etc.GR coordinator could look into high-efficiency fume hoods. Need to have campus support for green energy.
      • Shari: Agree with Chad, with Paul’s team coming in, they can see where improvements can be made. Incur energy savings but not lose the capacity. Finding unique ways to do that. Install the newer technology, like low-flow, high-efficiency will go a long way in meeting iCAP goals. Need help with things that are outside the department’s DOR.
      • Paul: Agree with everyone. Shut down almost all hoods at the top floor of Soybean. Morrill Hall needs a lot of help with renovations. Helped get them out during a pilot program. There are other places that use them 24/7 and they are clean and well managed. We see it all.
    • Additional resource for kick-off
      • GR coordinator, communications team, IT support
  15. Weekly Update: Bike to Work Day, Light the Night

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, I was out sick all last week with some combination of flu/cold/sinus infection. My staff handled operations in my absence. However, there were some issues tracking visit numbers, unfortunately.

    Last Thursday was Bike To Work Day. Some very awesome people stepped up and filled in for me. Sounds like it was a banner year! Congrats to all involved.

    Tomorrow evening is Light The Night. We’ll be hosting at a different location this year. Should be a better spot for folks to get their lights.

    We were inundated with donations last week. I’ll bring in staff off-hours to help scrap the junk bikes and reorganize this week. Hopefully we’ll have our space in better shape by our open hours on Wednesday.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 8*
    Sales: $1,242.50
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $215
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $40
    Memberships: 17 for $510
    Tires/tubes: 9 for $55

    *See above issue with visit numbers.

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator