I met with Marco Tijoe, a biological physics major who coordinates campus Styrecycle. Styrecycle started Styrofoam recycling on UIUC’s campus for the first time after receiving SSC funding in 2014. They have emulated a very successful program that’s eco-friendly and self-sustaining. Marco showed me the collection box that contained large Styrofoam boxes, which were used as coolers to ship equipment to the life science lab. Styrecycle has established a partnership with Community Resources, Inc. (CRI) to pick up Styrofoam, transporting it to their site, and feeding the Styrofoam into a “densifier”. The densified Styrofoam is then sold to a company in Chicago. CRI gives Styrecycle a portion of the proceeds to support interns who keep the program running.
Each month Styrecycle collects 1000 pounds of Styrofoam a month, improving campus sustainability and diverting waste from the landfills. Due to the hefty amount of materials handled, Strecycle are looking for volunteers and interns for the coming semester. Students can take an one credit hour class under ENVS 491 for Spring and Summer semester. Please contact Marco at Illinois.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved with Styrecycle. This is a great community effort to make our university greener. SSC would love to see more campus projects like Strecycle. If you have ideas, feel free to apply for SSC Spring funding.