Feature: Recycling at the Shedd
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the Aquarium? This Earth month we asked Susan Barton, Director of Facilities at the Shedd Aquarium & member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Recycling Association, to give us a peek into the work they've been doing for over the past three decades and how it all ties together.
After a simple start recycling only paper & aluminum cans in the late 80s, Shedd Aquarium can now boast that it keeps nearly 20 commodities from entering landfills.
The elements that make up single stream - plastic, glass and paper - are supplemented with printer cartridges, batteries & e-waste. Bales of OCC are picked up along with baled “Super Sacks.” Each of these large plastic bags contains 2250 pounds of Instant Ocean for the saltwater-mixing process; once emptied, the sacks are recycled.
Along “Recycling Row” in the basement, staff & volunteers leave unwanted clothing/textiles, lightbulbs & metal in bins for collection. Styrofoam is picked up for densifying. Nitrile, latex & rubber gloves used by Shedd departments are collected & shipped to TerraCycle along with Mylar-lined snack packages.

Partnering with Lakeshore Recycling Systems has increased the diversion rate to 80%, but through innovative strategies & initiatives, aquarium staff are eager to ramp up to at least 90% in the near future.

Outside of the aquarium’s daily operations, Shedd also works to inspire commitment & action from guests & the public to make conscious decisions to benefit the environment. On Earth Day 2017, the aquarium launched Shedd the Straw – a public awareness initiative encouraging people to refuse single-use plastic straws in place of more eco-friendly options. With 500 million plastic straws used every day in the US, this campaign highlights the damage these non-recyclable plastics can do to the environment. Since the launch of the program, Shedd has reached millions of people with this message % has partnered with more than 100 restaurants to replace straws with compostable options or eliminate them completely.

Through September 2018, Shedd guests can come face-to-face with the immensity of plastics that pollute our oceans, thanks to the traveling exhibit, Washed Ashore . Consisting of 19 massive sculptures made completely out of plastic collected from beaches, the installations highlight the sheer volume of plastic waste floating in our oceans & waterways. In the shape of beloved aquatic wildlife, the Washed Ashore sculptures are an art-inspired warning about the challenges that plastic pollution presents for the underwater world.

To learn more about the Shedd's commitment, visit the website .
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CCDD & Ground Water Monitoring Event Held 3/27 at Cafe La Cave in Des Plaines
Three distinguished speakers presented issues surrounding HB4315 on Clean Construction Demolition Debris & Ground Water Monitoring. Click on the link below for a review of the event and more pictures. Pictured at left is Greg Wilcox of Winston Engineering & member of the Illinois Recycling Association & Kris Kaar, President of the Illinois Recycling Association.
Friday, May 18th, 2018. 9:30am Refreshments & Networking at Sonoco, 1500 Powis Rd, West Chicago,
10am Josh Connell provides an overview of Lakeshore Recycling, West Chicago operation & digester facility. Following Josh's talk, tour of Lakeshore C&D recycling operation at 1655 Powis Rd, West Chicago. WATCH FOR MORE DETAILS.
The Recycling Partnership, in association with Resource Recycling, Inc., is pleased to announce the third annual Steve Thompson Memorial Grant, offering free travel, accommodation and registration for the 2018 Resource Recycling Conference being held in St Louis October 22-24, 2018. Deadline to apply is June 4, 2018, so Act Now!
The Illinois Recycling Association is very proud to announce that Dave Keeling, Steel Recycling Institute and Vice President of the Illinois Recycling Association has been elected President of the National Recycling Coalition (NRC). "For more than two decades, Dave has been integral to the steel industry's commitment to promoting and sustaining steel recycling," said Thomas J Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. "Dave's leadership with the National Recycling Coalition is a natural extension of the steel industry's commitment to multi-material recycling and sustainability and he will be an outstanding president." The IRA extends its deep appreciation for Dave's service on many fronts. Congratulations Dave!
Recycling News
Scientists Hope New Enzyme Will "Eat" Plastic Pollution.

Composting ABC's Family Education Night A Composting ABC's Family Education Night will be held at 6pm on April 19 in the Peoria County Farm Bureau building located at 1716 N University St in Peoria.

Howard Buffett Gives $1.2M to Buy Land for Recycling Center Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett's private foundation is donating $1.2 million to purchase land for a new recycling center and compost facility.

Solvent breakthrough could lead to more e-plastics recovery S cientists from the University of Illinois found that a particular solvent can recover a clean stream of polycarbonate (PC) from mixtures of different e-plastics

Kids learn about reduce, reuse, and recycle through fun and games Hundreds came out for the annual Recycled Play Day at the Illinois State Museum. Kids and their parents helped build a play city out of cardboard for the main activity.
Message from the Board: Thank you to all who have renewed their IRA membership. Being a member in the IRA includes membership in the National Recycling Coalition (NRC).

Please consider promoting membership to your colleagues. As we re-build, we are striving to add value to your membership. Please let us know if you have any thoughts on how we can help you.
"It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources."
Sen Gaylord Nelson (WI) speaking about the first Earth Day in 1970

Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 6957, Villa Park IL 60181
708 358 0050