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All Project Updates


  1. Students invited to participate in the iSEE Congress

    Associated Project(s): 


    Registration has opened for “Sustainable Cities,” and iSEE is inviting instructors to consider sending their classes to one or more of its Congress sessions this fall!

    Read more and find the registration form on the Congress 2018 webpage >>>

    Instructors: If you would like a slide to share with students, please email

    In addition, iSEE will have two evenings for poster presentations at the Congress. Students, postdocs, and other researchers are invited to present their research on one of the “Sustainable Cities” themes. To register a poster, fill out the form >>>

  2. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was slow, for the most part. Felt like we got a lot of donations. Trained a new staffer, waiting on clearance to train one more. Still building and scrapping bikes on the regular. My checklist sheet for shop builds is working—for the most part. There are still detail things that the staff don’t really notice, a slack chain on a single-speed for example, or cable ends are too long. Overall, I think it’s helping but the details matter and very much can still result in an unsafe bicycle. I’ll look at revising it a bit this w eek.

    This will be Dennis’s last week here (I think, will check on this). He has been a great staffer and we’ll miss him!


    This week I will begin prep for our big clean out/purge at the beginning of August. I’ll poll the staff for availability and iron out the details for how many days we’ll be closed (best-case scenario: one day). We’ll begin August 6th. We’ll be pulling all the bikes out and moving furniture around to give a solid, deep clean, and toss out the junk that has accumulated. We haven’t ever done a big clean like this during my tenure here and it’s wholly overdue. While we might lose a day or two of open hours, the end result will be a better functioning and cleaner/easier to navigate space.


    This week I will also be getting in touch with Lexco about ordering PB Blinky lights for LTN 2018!


    Visitors: 75
    Sales: $724
    Memberships: 7 for $210

    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $220
    Tire/tubes: 11 for $88

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  3. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University has been approached many times by students and others about the possibility of implementing a bike sharing program, and the 2010 iCAP included a goal to create a bike sharing program by 2012.

    The University conducted a feasibility study in 2011 and 2012 (attached below) to assess whether the campus could truly sustain a bicycle sharing program. That study recommended the Campus Bike Plan be implemented first, in order to improve the conditions of bicycle infrastructure across campus, before a public bike sharing system be considered.  In Fall 2013, it was decided that there have been improvements made on the bicycle network so bike sharing was reopened for discussion.  A graduate student was hired to work with departments in trying to implement a bike share within the University, while creating discussion within the local community about a community wide system.

    In addition, the study also suggests a few interim programs to serve known needs of providing bicycles to University employees for work-related trips on an hourly basis, and providing bikes to visitors, conferences and classes for daily rentals for group tours, etc. The University is working to develop both of these programs now, and will continue to explore options for making communal bicycles available to students and potentially to the general public. 


    Although the community bike sharing costs too much, which means community bike sharing is not feasible in the recent years; some departments have developed their own bike sharing programs, staffs and students can rent a bike daily, monthly, even yearly. It is really convenient and increases the usage rate of bike around the campus. Now, a promotional campaign is being conducted to encourage more departments to participate, with the goal of increasing the number of departmental shared bikes from the current level of 15 to a goal of 60 by FY20. Additionally, campus still continue to work with community partners to explore the implementation of a communitywide public bike-sharing program.

    Minnesota has a nice ride which sharing bike among all people. It started from 2012 and since 2014, the cumulative trip exceeds 500,000 per year, whose net assets are $62,469 in 2015, which means with the contract, sponsor and rental fee, there is not much economic stress. Maybe in the next several years, it will work for us, too.

  4. Weekly Update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Pete and Shawn—

    [This past week, there were] just a few emails, including one from the BER student volunteers. I had sent them a spreadsheet showing departments that were not yet participating in the glove recycling program but had $2,000 or more in nitrile glove purchases this year. They identified contacts for each department and will do some outreach when the fall semester begins. 

    Best regards,
    Marya Ryan
    Zero Waste Coordinator

  5. Capacity of Solar PVs for shed roof

    Associated Project(s): 

    The solar PV design for the rooftop of the Idea Garden shed is 12 panels with 340 Watts each, which is a total of 4.08 kWdc. The construction estimate is in progress at F&S, then an interconnect agreement will be needed from Ameren.

  6. discussion with EPA

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan White talked with Denise Kearns at EPA about the SmartWay program and options for UI participation, in addition to the existing partnership with Dining Services.

    Morgan asked Denise to:

    1. Please let us know if being an Affiliate is an option for the University of Illinois. 
    2. Please let me know what you see from reviewing the Housing Dining Services submission information. 
    3. I’d also like to know if the option for a % spend reporting is still available for Shipping partners.
    4. Finally, please arrange a webinar for us (attached list) about the overall program, preferably after August 15.
  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, a nice and generally manageable number of visitors to the shop this week. 2-3 people working on shop builds and some fix-a-flatters in every day.

    I rode down Green St last week and that was a delight. Great new markings!

    Thanks to Todd for grabbing the scrap pile over the weekend.

    This week I will be contacting the Dero bike pump people about the problem with the Altgeld pump: squirrels keep chewing off the pump head, rendering it unusable. I’ll check with them to see if they’ve got any solutions.

    I will also be setting up a meeting this week with a student group who are looking to solve bike waste on campus.


    Visitors: 88
    Sales: $777.45
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $160
    Bike (B-a-B): 2 for $158
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tire/tubes: 23 for $123



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Help launch a Citizens' Climate Lobby chapter at UIUC

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a non-profit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. It exists to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. With over 480 chapters worldwide, CCL organizes by establishing local chapters in congressional districts. Working as a team you’ll experience the profound difference people can make by empowering and inspiring their elected representatives, local media, and community.

    If you are interested in being part of the launch team here at UIUC, please contact Dr. Ryan Flanagan (

  9. update on tree inventory

    Associated Project(s): 

    Davey Tree's staff person is averaging 214 trees per day.  He started at University Avenue and is working his way south.  Currently he is at Armory Avenue.  Depending on the number of trees on campus, he could be done by the end of September.

  10. Weekly Update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Pete and Shawn—

    Zero-waste activities for the past were 

    • Prepared and sent a scope and timeline request to SSC for the zero-waste projects. The request was granted, so we have one more year (through July 31, 2019) to spend the rest of the SSC funding on outdoor dual bins (geNng estimates and using remaining funds for the bins themselves)
    • Drafted a spring 2018 semester report for SSC and sent it to Morgan for review.
    • Investigated bounced email to our Kimberly-Clark contact, Jonathan McClintock. I’m seeing if he still works there and is still our contact for RightCycle. 

    Best regards,
    Marya Ryan
    Zero Waste Coordinator

  11. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, pretty relaxed week here. The construction on Pennsylvania is in full swing and will probably adversely affect how many visitors we get but we’ll see. If the main door is completely or even mostly inaccessibly, a lot more people will be using the back garage door that we open for air flow. In that case, I’ll reorganize the shop to accommodate for that. All told, we’ll probably miss some visitor sign-ins because of it. But I’ll play it by ear and see how people navigate i t.  

    On Monday morning last week I had three folks come in who are going on a mission trip with their church to Malawi, Africa and hoping to teach some bike skills over there. I showed them some basic repairs and gave them some old parts/tools that they could use and advised against buying expensive and specific tools. Their trip is annual so they’ll check back next year.

    I’ve got another interview for a student worker today.


    On Friday alone we got like 5 bikes donated. Nice old 3 speeds (like we need more). This morning I arrived to find 3 Walmarters donated in front of the garage. I’ll pull and scrap a few more to even it out.


    The numbers:
    Sales: $1,173.25
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Bikes (refurbished): 4 for $695
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $57
    Tire/tubes: 10 for $87



    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  12. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The City of Urbana has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and the Grow Solar Partnership to coordinate a second solar group buy in Champaign County, building on the success of Solar Urbana-Champaign, which took place from December 2015 through June of 2016. The advantage of a group buy is the power of volume purchasing, which can significantly reduce the up-front costs of installing solar on your home or business. You do not need to be a City of Urbana resident to participate – the group buy is open to all Champaign County residents and business owners.

  13. Student paper on value of LEED

    Three students in the spring 2018 Tools for Sustainability course compared water consumption in a campus building with LEED Platinum certification (the Business Instructional Facility) to an older building with no certification (the Undergraduate Library).  Their report is attached here.

  14. Weekly Update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Pete and Shawn—

    Here are the zero-waste activities for the week: Morgan, Brent Lewis, and I met with Shawn Hopkins of Bigbelly to discuss possibilities for indoor bins. 

    • I responded some emails about styrofoam recycling.
    • I participated in a CURC listserv discussion about conveyor belt sorting systems. I asked Morgan about any pictures, videos, schematics, and data we might be able to share,
    • I drafted a semesterly report and scope-and-timeline change request for the SSC funding to see if they can give us another year and if we can focus the remaining funds on replacing the outdoor bins with dual bins. Morgan has the draft to review. 
    • I responded to an inquiry from La Casa Cultural Latina about participating in the glove recycling program. 

    Best regards,
    Marya Ryan
    Zero Waste Coordinator

  15. Update from Davey Tree

    Associated Project(s): 

    Here is an update on the progress of the tree inventory. Tree Count - 1,117


    I began on the north side of campus as we discussed in our kickoff meeting, and have started working south. I have completed most everything north of Green St. I will continue to work my way south next week. See attached file.

    Next week I will also start to do some data quality checks and will include some of that reporting in these update emails. If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Reid Gibson, Project Manager, Davey Resource Group, ISA Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist, IL-5319AM ISA, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

    Attached Files: