Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

ISTC in the News


Sound Sensors Can Detect Water Pipe Leaks

7.26.16

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Abstract: The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, American Water and Echologics tested acoustic monitoring last year to identify water distribution system cracks. The technology is saving cities and towns that have already adopted it significant investment in repairs, not to mention the costs of lost water, usually turned over to ratepayers.


Styrecycle: A New Effort to Reduce Waste on the Illinois Campus

7.12.16

Contact: Olivia Harris and Elise Snyder at illinois.styrecycle@gmail.com

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Abstract: APRIL 19, 2016 -- Expanded polystyrene -- more commonly known by its brand name "Styrofoam" -- is everywhere. It makes up your disposable coffee cup, the packing peanuts in that care package from your mom, and the insulation in your apartment's walls. At the University of Illinois, countless bottles of chemicals, biology specimens, and fragile parts of lab equipment arrive in packaging made of Styrofoam every day, and, sadly, almost all of it gets tossed in the trash.


Teachers learn drug disposal risks

6.19.16

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Abstract: Teachers from around Illinois are learning about the effects of improper disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products during workshops at the University of Illinois this week.


Why Tech Companies Design Products With Their Destruction in Mind

6.16.16

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Abstract: Apple introduced a piece of technology recently that will likely never be used by any consumer. Instead, it kind of cleans up after them: a robot that breaks down iPhones for recycling. The company spent more than three years building Liam, of which there are currently two. Each carefully separates iPhone components such as the camera module, SIM card trays, screws and batteries. Instead of tossing the whole device into a shredder--the most common form of disposal--Liam separates materials so they can be recycled more efficiently. Other electronics makers take a different recycling approach, designing products that simplify disassembly by replacing glue and screws with parts that snap together, for instance. Some also have reduced the variety of plastics used and avoid mercury and other hazardous materials that can complicate disposal. It's all part of the electronics industry's efforts to undo a problem of its own making. The technological advances that replaced typewriters with personal computers, flip phones with smartphones and clunky TVs with flat-screen displays also spawned the consumer expectation that today's cutting-edge product will become obsolete in a few years. The constant churn of new devices has contributed to an increase in electronic waste, some of which ends up in developing nations where local residents must deal with the health and environmental risks.


Festival to promote Sustainability and Education in CU

3.14.16

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Abstract: The inaugural Sonified Sustainability Festival from mid-April to May for the Champaign-Urbana community, including a sculpture from ISTC in the Krannert Center lobby created from the university's recyclables in an effort to raise awareness about the magnitude of waste generation at the university.


Applications now open for the 2016 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award

3.1.16

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Abstract: The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2016 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards.


U of I News: Nurturing a market for waste CO2

1.25.16

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Abstract: The Department of Energy is funding a $1.3 million engineering and planning phase, representing DOE's first sponsorship of a large-scale research and development project for the capture of CO2 emissions.


Nurturing a market for waste CO2

1.21.16

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Abstract: A pilot project on the U. of I. campus will explore methods to capture carbon dioxide from the gas- and coal-fired Abbott power plant, with the ultimate goal of reducing CO2 emissions and developing industrial markets that would reuse the recovered CO2.


Illinois Companies, Organizations Honored for Achievements In Sustainability

10.28.15

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Abstract: Nineteen Illinois companies and organizations were honored October 27 for their demonstrated leadership in implementing sustainable principles and practices. The Governor's Sustainability Awards, the "Emmy Awards for Sustainability," were presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) during a ceremony in Chicago. ISTC is a unit of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


More in C-U answering call of 'duty'

9.21.15

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Abstract: Local cities make sure residents have opportunities to recycle. Urbana provides recycling for all of its residents through a municipal program. Champaign requires all waste haulers to provide recycling for all residents. Bart Bartels, a technical assistance engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, discusses some of the efforts made by the University of Illinois to increase awareness of recycling efforts on campus.


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