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Grind2Energy (Ongoing)

Recent Project Updates

  • 5/19/2024

    Hi Daphne,


    Have you had any discussion with Housing dining about piloting composting in their catering operations?


    I believe we could encourage them to lead a pilot for that.



  • 11/10/2023

    Members from the ISC, ZeroWaste Interns, as well as Daphne Hulse and Codie Sterner attended a tour of the Illinois Street Residence Halls and their Grind2Energy system today.


To combat the issue of food waste on campus, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign implemented Grind2Energy systems at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

These systems operate similarly to kitchen garbage disposals. However, they are significantly more powerful than household disposals and run at 10.0 horsepower. Meanwhile, household disposals only operate around 0.5-3.0 horsepower.

In order to convert the food waste into energy:

  1. The food waste goes through the grinder and becomes a "slurry."
  2. The slurry is pumped into a 5000-6000 gallon holding tank right outside of the dining hall.
  3. When the tank gets 80% full, the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District is notified and the slurry is picked up from the holding tank by a liquid vacuum truck.
  4. Once the slurry is dropped off at the sanitary district, they put it in an anaerobic digester.
  5. From there, they collect methane from the digester and produce electricity to run their plant.

This is the best option for dining halls, as University-scale composting is not feasible and the process diverts food waste from being sent to landfills. The Grind2Energy systems are currently at FAR and ISR. However, the University is in the process of trying to procure and install the systems at Ikenberry, LAR, and PAR.

No description has been provided yet.

Tons of pre- and post-consumer food scraps diverted via Grind2Energy

Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Thurman Etchison

    Project Leader:

    University Housing


  • Started July 15, 2019
    Started by University Housing


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