Enhancement of Sustainability in Operations

This branded maker of consumer packaged goods would like the team to look at ways in which client could become more environmentally conscious. Currently, there are a few specific items used in their plant that are critical to production but there is no recycling program in place. These include super sacks used to transport product inputs by truck to the facility as well as linear fluorescent light bulbs. The client also would like solutions to recycle common items such as soda cans and water bottles in a feasible way that does not promote pest harborage at the manufacturing facility.

Project Mentors

Dr. Tom Bierma (Research Professor (Emeritus), Department of Health Sciences)
Dr. Guang Jin (Professor, Department of Health Sciences)
Missy Nergard (Office of Sustainability)
Jennifer McDade

Jennifer McDade is a connector of people and ideas. As a resident of Bloomington-Normal for more than 17 years, she has been very active professionally and in the community. She has been at State Farm Insurance Company for more than five years, leading teams in communication and now in digital initiatives. Prior to that, she spent more than ten years at Illinois State University and enjoyed all of her time on campus, though her favorite role was working with students in the School of Communication. She enjoys public service, now as a Connect Transit trustee and formerly as an elected Alderman in the City of Bloomington. She serves with other community groups as well. Other interests include raising two wonderful children – both students at Metcalf School – and enjoying time with her husband, family, and friends. She enjoys running and working out, as well as shopping for vintage finds including adding to her collection of old books about nature.

Competencies needed by faculty and students involved

Systems thinking. There are many facets to waste management which often include zoning ordinances, available space in the facility, compliance (and impending legislation), budget considerations, public perception, cost-benefit analysis, and available markets & commodity prices.

  • Systems thinking. There are many facets to waste management which often include zoning ordinances, available space in the facility, compliance (and impending legislation), budget considerations, public perception, cost-benefit analysis, and available markets & commodity prices.
  • Writing and communications skills to provide intuitive and simple manuals and processes.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Research.
  • Innovation and creativity.

Recruitment Status:

Closed

Final Deliverable

Identify ways in which these large super sacks can be repurposed, upcycled or recycled as well as find solutions regarding common food packaging.