MATERIAL MATTERS
APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER
Member Spotlight

WILL COUNTY ILLINOIS


Will County has been a member of the Illinois Recycling Association for over 25 years. Home to nearly 700,000 residents, located just southwest of Chicago, it is one-third farmland while also being home to part of Aurora, Joliet and Naperville, three of the largest communities in the State. The County owns a landfill, converted from a federal munitions site, but works diligently to divert materials through a variety of recyclng initiatives. The county-wide recycling rate hit a high of 43% before taking a downturn under the pushback felt nationally. Still they are encouraging residents and businesses to adopt waste reduction, water conservation and energy efficient practices.
Will County worked recently to launch Will County Earth Day Passport to recognize the significance of the 50th Anniversary, switching many events to do-it-yourself programs because of COVID-19 guidelines. Learn more about them at www.willcountygreen.com.
 Members of the Illinois Recycling Association enjoy the benefit of spotlighting their Business, Government, Educational Institution or Non-Profit entity in a future Newsletter. If you would like to be featured, please send an email to info@illinoisrecycles.org
CELEBRATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY
WHILE SHELTERING-IN-PLACE

Every member of the Illinois Recycling Association has been impacted by COVID-19 and the Shelter-In-Place order given by Governor JB Pritzker to protect the health of all Illinois residents. Some members, such as our colleges, have closed to be transformed into on-line educational institutions, facing the loss of sports, extracurricular activities and even graduation ceremonies. Other members have moved workforces to their homes and taken to on-line meetings. Sales offices have closed. However, our waste, recycling and composting members continue to provide services in as close to a normal fashion as possible. While commercial collections have fallen, reports indicate recycling and residential waste generation has climbed. One member told us cardboard prices were increasing due to the lack of commercial generation. All this while our educators have become on-line teachers to people of all ages. Blogs, presentations and increased social media outreach have made this Earth Day a celebration unlike any that has been held these past decades. Share your successes with us and know that we support you. We are all in this together.
COVID-19 IMPACTS RECYCLING

We all know that recycling markets have taken a downturn in the last two years. Now, the coronavirus crisis has thrown the industry another curve.

In these days of social distancing and constant disinfecting, we know that some MRF operators are responding to their employees' health concerns by asking that households with exposure to Covid-19 discard their recyclable material in the trash. Further, across the nation, several states are allowing yardwaste to be landfilled during this period of reduced workforces.

Our members have invested millions of dollars in capital improvements to address the demand for recycling and reduce contamination in recycling. Reduction in the stream of recyclables and compost material can pose irreparable harm to those recyclers. The Association is firmly resolved to support the recycling community and is opposed to legislative efforts to reduce recycling mandates during this crisis. Be strong. We will get through this together.
Legislative Update

At this time the Illinois General Assembly is staying home. No actions are being taken, no public hearings or committee work is being done. We will let you know how the legislature determines their calendar when the Shelter-In-Place order is lifted.
However, this doesn't mean that the Illinois Recycling Association is not thinking legislatively. In opposition to the waste industry's request to temporarily rescind the landfill yardwaste ban in the State of Illinois, the IRA penned a letter to the Governor urging protection of the food scrap and yardwaste recycling industry.
Recycling Best Practices:
Cart Confusion About Batteries

Battery recycling is confusing for residents and businesses. Sometimes they are marked with chasing arrows but are not taken in recycling carts. Sometimes they should not be placed in the garbage cart either. What should we as members of the IRA do to help? Consider placing signs on bulletin boards, posts on social media and labels on recycling containers to say NO BATTERIES. If your employees use items with rechargeable batteries, provide them a designated location to recycle those batteries. Be sure they know never to place them in the garbage or regular recycling.
Note from the Board of Directors

We want to thank all of you for your participation and support. We’re looking forward to continued work with Members and followers of the Illinois Recycling Association. You are always welcome to submit topics of interest to the recycling industry to info@illinoisrecycles.org
It is not loo late to join / renew your membership!

Stay healthy and safe!
"You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you."
Mary Tyler Moore American Actress
Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 6957, Villa Park IL 60181
708 358 0050
info@illinoisrecycles.org