Skip to main content

Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center Sustainability

Since 2006 Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center (SWICC) has been active in reducing energy costs, conserving resources and lowering its carbon footprint. The following is a list of steps the facility has taken to move in the direction of becoming a more environmentally sustainable facility.

  • SWICC has three (3) balers since 2006, one (1) for cardboard, one (1) for plastic and one (1) for metal. All balers are provided by Highland Recycling, who pickup the bales weekly. We produce seven (7) bales of cardboard a month, two (2) bales of metal a month and one (1) bale of plastic a month. Presently Highland Recycling also takes the facility's shredded paper. The reduction in waste has allowed the facility to reduce trash pickup from weekly to every ten (10) or eleven (11) days. This reduced the monthly trash bill by at least one (1) pickup per month.
  • In 2006 SWICC started lowering electric usage by reducing the number of fluorescent tubes in use per fixture. A four (4) tube fixtures now only use two (2) tubes the facilities 1000 watt fixtures were cut in half from seventy (70) to thity-five (35). This lowered the facility monthly electric bill and also reduced replacement ballast and tube replacement cost.
  • Since the facility is dormitory style with community showers and bathrooms the facility was experiencing a problem with showers and sinks running when no offenders were using them. The facility worked with the drug treatment program (Civigenics) to develop a system for monitoring usage. An offender is now assigned to monitor those areas and turn off any sinks and showers running when they are not in use. This has helped to reduce water and sewer cost for SWICC.
  • The facility has two (2) greenhouses and gardens maintained by the Horticulture class. Food they supply is used in dietary.
  • A third garden a quarter acre in size has been developed; the Grounds Supervisor will supervise the offender garden technicians in maintaining and harvesting the garden. Food they supply will supplement dietary.
  • In 2010 the facility constructed a container for staff to drop off recyclables for disposal. The staff can bring in plastic, cardboard and metal. It will be baled with SWICC materials with pickup by Highland Recycling.
  • Milstadt Rendering has provided two (2) dumpsters for oil and animal fats. They are picked up from dietary every two (2) weeks.
  • The Maintenance department has placed twelve (12) rain barrels in service. When the rain barrels are full they are transported and drained into one of the four (4) water storage tanks that are used to water the three (3) gardens.
  • In an effort to reduce paper towel usage the facility has dyed four hundred (400) donated wash cloths to be used as rags for cleaning windows thru out the facility.
  • Ammo (bras shell casing) is sent to Training Academy to be recycled.
  • All electronics are collected and are recycled through the vendor contracted by the state of Illinois.
  • The Horticulture and Maintenance Departments have developed a compost pile.