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Member Spotlight


Founded in 1997 by Don and Kathy Powles and located in McHenry County, Falcon Green Resources became the first asphalt shingle recycler in the state of Illinois. Starting with a small F-800 roll-off truck and only a few 10-yard dumpsters, Falcon Green was able to expand, currently owning a fleet of trucks, including larger Mack trucks capable of hauling the 20 and 30-cubic-yard dumpsters filled with shingles.

In 2000, Falcon Green was awarded a grant from the State of Illinois for the purchase of purchasing a grinder used to process shingles. This helped them earn the attention of Illinois leaders to promote the recycling of asphalt roofing shingles. They have published articles in LEED and C&D recycling magazines and received the Outstanding Leadership in Business Recycling Award from the Illinois Recycling Association.

For more information on Falcon Green Resources, click 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
Feature Article: Recycle all Pizza Boxes

Recently the   American Forest and American Paper Association (AF&AP) announced they want ALL PIZZA BOXES. They surveyed members and conducted a study that shows minimal to no impact on the fiber strength of cardboard made from typical amounts of cheese and grease contamination to pizza boxes.  Further, 93.6 percent of AF&PA members that consume OCC report that they accept corrugated pizza boxes for recycling. Educational information should be changed to ask consumers to empty the pizza box and place it in the recycling cart. For more info:

NOTE: MRF markets vary and while this is excellent news, local MRFs must work with end markets to be certain pizza boxes contaminated with cheese and large amounts of grease will be accepted. The study appeared to be of incoming pizza boxes under current education which is usually to tear off the bottom half if it contains large amounts of grease or cheese. 
Cart Confusion: Scrap Metal

Scrap metal recycling is as old as the invention of metal but it has  never  been taken curbside. Melting metal is far more efficient than raw materials, saving energy in transportation, creating less air pollution, even reducing energy use. Residents that find themselves doing some home repair, such as fixing a torn screen, installing copper plumbing, or replacing a metal part on their vehicle should recycle the scrap metal but they need to find their local scrap yard and drop it off to ensure it is recycled.

Often people make the mistake of placing odd items in the curbside collection and this may easily result in the item not being recycled and also causing damage at the sorting facility . Just as plastic bags or metal chains wrap themselves around the conveyor belts, the odd metal items can tear through, dent or break the facility equipment. If you find yourself with some unwanted metal items, anything from rusty hangers to fencing or gutter spouts, be sure to ask your County Recycling department for scrap collection information in your area.

Due to COVID, the state house and senate are not holding meetings in Springfield. A few bills are expected to get action but general consensus may be necessary to pass anything. If it is controversial, it is expected to be reintroduced in Spring of 2021. For the Fall Veto session we are watching the Carpet Bill and Pharmaceutical Take-Back Bill.

On a national level, the local cities, counties and states with Single-Use plastic bag fees that were waived when COVID response began have now reinstituted the fees. This encourages reuse bags and is a sign that the fear of COVID infection from reusable bags is disappearing.
C&D Recycling Task Force Identifies Serious Threat

Earlier this year the IRA determined that our Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recyclers were facing a variety of challenges that were not a result of COVID. In order to address them, a Task Force was created that includes local recyclers, national experts and regulators. They are meeting regularly to discuss issues facing the industry in Illinois and throughout the United States.

One of the most serious issues is the loss of “fines” being used as daily cover by a number of Illinois landfills. Fines are a mix of all the residue remaining after the screening and processing operation. It usually contains powder (small particles) of gypsum. When mixed with water, an unpleasant odor can be created from the reaction but it doesn’t present any other concern. Some landfills are no longer allowing “fines” as daily cover, resulting in a loss of market for the material which can be 20 to 30 percent of the material produced, depending on intakes. The Task Force is working to identify solutions. Already, they have looked to other states where the local EPA allows the material to be used in more ways than currently practiced in Illinois. They plan to present the issues and possible solutions in a Panel Discussion format over Zoom the end of August.
Members of this Task Force are:
Ron Tazelaar, IRA President and Owner of TAZ C&D Recycling
Bill Turley, Executive Director, Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA)
Dr. Townsend, University of Florida, Expert on C&D Fines
Mary Margaret Cowhey, IRA Treasurer, President/CEO of Land and Lakes Company
Dean Olson, Will County Resource Recovery and Energy Director
Upcoming Events
Challenges Faced by C&D Recyclers
Keep your calendar open the last week of August for an informative panel discussion on the issues facing C&D Recyclers in Illinois and across the US. There will be discussion on research, markets and solutions. If you have any interest in addressing the waste created from demolitions or construction projects, you should tune into this event. All IRA members will be welcome free of charge to this 90 minute educational program. A fee will be required of non-members.

IRA Annual Meeting and Topical Program
Last September many of our members joined us in Springfield at the IEPA’s headquarters for a day filled with presentations on a variety of recycling topics with speakers across the state. We honored a few members with awards and held our election, along with presenting our Treasurer’s report. Our challenge this year is to find a way to recreate that event to learn how all our efforts are progressing in the time of COVID. If you are interested in helping plan this event, which is currently exploring the concept of going live using Zoom but also allowing a group of less than 50 to gather in-person, please contact us immediately.

Grant Opportunity for Members Servicing Chicago
Impact 100 Chicago  annually awards $100,000 grants to local nonprofit organizations. The newest grant cycle has begun and you are invited to submit a Letter of Inquiry in one of five focus areas (Family, Education, Health, Sustainability and Culture).  The Letter of Inquiry deadline for this grant cycle is October 9, 2020 . Visit the website at  for details to explore whether your organization has opportunities that match their eligibility guidelines.  
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
Albert Einstein
Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 6957, Villa Park IL 60181
708 358 0050