Take advantage of a 10% membership COVID-19 discount offer through August 31, 2020. Help support the IRA and enjoy membership benefits at reduced membership fees. And a reminder that your Illinois Recycling Association membership also makes you a member of the National Recycling Coalition, an organization that expands your reach across the country. The NRC has given us until 8/28/2020 to update membership records so be sure to join now to be on the NRC’s list, as well as in the IRA Member Directory.

Member Spotlight on

City of Urbana

The City of Urbana’s U-Cycle curbside program began in 1986. Urbana was one of the first communities in Illinois to implement a curbside program. The program began collecting cardboard, newsprint, glass, aluminum and tin, and then expanded materials collected in the mid-1990s to accept plastic food and beverage containers, cartons and more mixed-paper materials in a single-stream program. By 1999 the U-Cycle program expanded to include multi-unit properties with five or more units. In 2004 the U-Cycle program implemented the cart system in its curbside program and provided Urbana households 65-gallon recycling carts called U-Carts!

The City of Urbana’s U-Cycle program has had many accomplishments over the years. One accomplishment was the implementation of a community-wide single-use and rechargeable battery recycling drop-off program. The battery recycling program began in 2007 and to-date Urbana has recycled more than 85,000 lbs of batteries! Additionally the City of Urbana has been awarded the U.S. EPA’s WasteWise local government partner of the year award three times (2014, 2017 & 2018) for waste diversion efforts accomplished through City facilities. Community engagement efforts such as placing ‘Oops’ tags on recycling carts with unacceptable materials and direct-mailing postcards to households without a recycling cart have increased diversion and participation rates in the curbside U-Cycle program. In 2019, U-Cycle saw its largest diversion rate at 40%. Urbana’s curbside participation rate is currently at 79%!

Illinois Recycling Association’s membership has been instrumental in connecting the City of Urbana’s U-Cycle program to other statewide organizations, agencies, and local governments by fostering partnerships and networking opportunities.

More information about the City of Urbana is available by clicking here.
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
Cart Confusion: Plastic Bags & Plastic Film Tips From

So what exactly is plastic film and how do you recycle it?

Plastic film - also known as plastic film packaging - is soft, flexible polyethylene (PE) packaging such as grocery, bread, zip-top and dry cleaning bags. It is also the wrap around many products including paper plates, napkins, bathroom tissue, diapers and more.

To recycle your plastic film, first make sure it is clean (e.g, no food residue) and dry. Then take it to your nearest drop-off location to be collected for recycling. There are more than 18,000 locations across the US and Canada including many grocery stores. Sometimes recycling your plastic film is as easy as taking it with you on your next trip to the grocery store!


The Illinois Recycling Association is The Collective Voice of Recycling in the State of Illinois. All legislative actions are monitored closely so we can make our opinions known. As an example, we joined with over a dozen other organizations and the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) to send this letter to Governor Pritzker asking that he reverse the executive order previously put into effect that prevented the use of reusable bags because of fears of COVID-19. There is now science-based evidence that the virus is not transmitted from surfaces. Therefore, to reduce waste and increase reuse, we have asked that reusable bags be allowed.
Upcoming Events

Wednesday August 26, 2020. C&D Recycling FINES Free Webinar will address the issue threatening the C&D Recycling industry in the State of Illinois. Click Here to see all details and to register.

Wednesday September 16, 2020. Annual Meeting. The Illinois Recycling Association has a packed agenda for this year's Virtual Mini-Conference - Annual Meeting - Tour. This event, entitled Meeting Challenging Times, will be held on-line Wednesday September 16, 2020, from 10:30am-2pm. We have the Zoom format you are already familiar with for the morning with presentations on a variety of topics, an update from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) followed by our Annual Board Meeting and Election of Officers. This event includes a brief Award ceremony and release of our annual budget report. And what conference is complete without a tour? Thanks to GDB, a large paint recycler in Nashville IL, we will travel with their CEO as our guide through their recycling process.

Members will be welcome for Free. Non-members will be charged. Sponsorships available.

Innovation Corner: New Plastics Economy
Report with vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste.
Restaurant Composting: No Fuss, No Funk
Kroger Now Offering Free Recycling for Simple Truth Packaging
"I am building a fire, and every day I train I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match."
Mia Hamm, Soccer Olympian 1996 2000 2004
Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 6957, Villa Park IL 60181
708 358 0050