Member Spotlight: Fortune Metal
Fortune Metal Midwest LLC
As a RIOS/R2v3 Certified Recycler, Fortune Metal has played an important role in the reuse and recycling of metals and plastics for over 30 years. From a small scrap yard in Brooklyn NY, Fortune grew to become one of the largest buyers and recyclers of metals, in the United States. With 21 facilities throughout the United States and Mexico, the Fortune Metal Group processes over 350 million pounds of material annually. Fortune Metal Midwest specializes in reverse manufacturing using pneumatic tools, job creating-labor driven processing, and no excess waste in large shredding equipment. Serving a wide variety of industries, Fortune caters to the environmental as well as the proprietary concerns of its customers and can manage the destruction of their material in its recycling process. They do not resell OEM by-products; they destroy and offer a Certificate of Destruction and Recycling. As a recipient of many Quality and Supplier Excellence Awards, Fortune is dedicated to the preservation of its environment as well as the reputation of its customers throughout the world. To learn more, visit their website at https://www.fortunegroup.net.

Thank you, Fortune Metal, for being a Business member and longtime supporter of IRF.
Mary Allen

The highest recognition presented by IRF is the Steve Apotheker Award, and it was presented to Mary Allen, for 28 years of serving not only SWANCC, but all of Illinois, in the areas of waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting for children and adults. She was thanked for her tireless creativity and ability to share so others might replicate or be inspired to offer similar programs.
GlassKing Recovery & Recycling

For the Outstanding Private Sector program, GlassKing Recovery & Recycling, headquartered in Phoenix, AZ was recognized for finding a solution for restaurant, hotel, tavern, and commercial glass recycling then implementing pilot programs at several locations in Illinois to recover this important commodity.
Cook County

Cook County was recognized as the Outstanding Public Sector Program for creating and offering the first of its kind, CHaRM Recycling Collection Center to enhance services to residents and businesses, reducing illegal dumping, and improving waste diversion.

The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, which opened on Earth Day this year, is the first of its kind in Cook County and in the Chicago Southland. The one-million-dollar investment by Cook County fulfills a promise to better the environment and provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in the effort. 
Wells Lamont
Recycling, Machine Assembly, Metal Handling, Automotive and Transportation industries require specialized hand protection for a broad range of activities. Wells Lamont has performance-driven gloves for every job. Wells Lamont Industrial’s leather, FlexTech, MechPro, and VISTECH work gloves are the industry standard for quality and performance. With offices in Skokie, and representatives willing to discuss individual industry needs, it becomes easy to find safety gloves, and cut resistant sleeves to meet every need.

Thank you Wells Lamont, for exhibiting and becoming a new member of the IRF.
Clean River
With indoor and outdoor containers to meet every situation and over 30 years in the business of providing collection containers with recycled content. Clean River is a leader in manufacturing durable, educational, and functional receptacles. Customers include Disney, Google, Facebook, Tim Horton, numerous universities and governments. Visit their website today to see the variety of products they offer to improve your collection and contamination rates.

Thank you Clean River, for exhibiting and renewing your membership in the IRF.

Preparing to take the next step towards the future with it electric buses, Connect Transit's goal is to replace 22 buses with electric ones, which is half of the agency’s fleet, by 2024. Connect Transit is the primary provider of mass transportation in Bloomington/Normal, IL.

Thank you Connect Transit, for providing transportation for our tour at our annual conference and demonstrating the technology and comfort of your electric bus.
Address Illinois Codified Plastic Resin Codes
The chasing arrows on plastic bottles with a number are known as resin codes in the industry but simply mean recyclable to most people. Illinois codified them in 1992 ((415 ILCS 15/10)(from Ch. 85, par. 5960) and we should fix it. People don't understand the difference of blow-molded verses thermoformed when they see #1 PET so why do we keep using these codes and why with the recycling symbol? The issue of misunderstood codes came up in the plenary session, several break-out sessions and on the tour of Midwest Fiber.
IEPA Grant for Sharps Disposal

While Inmar addressed their plan to begin collecting pharmaceuticals under the Illinois Pharm Take-Back law, the IEPA's Alli Fry announced a new Grant for Sharps Disposal reimbursement being offered to Counties that wish to collect sharps from the public. Of course, it is lawful for residents generating needles from self-injection to dispose of these with residential garbage. More education on safety is needed to protect collection personnel.
Residential Electronics Law Sunsets in 2025
IEPA's Archana Uppuluri presented information on the Illinois Consumer Electronics Recycling Act (CERA) and the fact that while 50% of the Counties in Illinois are opting into the collection programs provided with manufacturer funding and serving the majority of residents, the law sunsets in 2025. Discussions need to begin on how to address this law. Lisa Kneller, from Kuusakoski, spoke at length about the lower value of used electronics since the enormous uptick in purchasing in 2020. Recyclers of commercial electronics are fighting lower cost new products and receiving no assistance from manufacturers under the current law in Illinois. Items not covered by the law were also mentioned.
Our conference did not receive any state funding or support. It was only through the financial contributions of our sponsors and generosity of members that advertised in our program booklet that we were able to offer an amazing array of highly acclaimed speakers along with networking opportunities. Please take a moment to learn more about each of these supporting organizations.
The Glass Recycling Foundation’s “Protect Our Beaches” Program presented by Corona has found a way to make recycling education fun so that we can all do our part to help the planet!  in its third year, the program is visiting bars and restaurants in more than 60 cities to educate consumers on the importance of glass recycling in an unexpected way.
Although glass is endlessly recyclable, more than 28 million glass bottles and jars end up in landfills or make their way into oceans and onto beaches each year.

To help raise awareness and encourage action, the program features the Corona Crusher, a machine that allows consumers to pulverize empty bottles into sand instantly. This sand material, made only from only clear bottles — the most common glass/bottle color, is given to Strategic Materials Inc. (SMI), a global processor of recycled materials, and used to make new, clear glass bottles.

Promoted with #ProtectOurBeaches, the vibrant eco-friendly footprint also includes a hands-on planting experience using bamboo pots and seed coasters that grow into wildflowers.

In Chicago, our recycling partner, GlassKing Recovery and Recycling, has set up shop and has been collecting glass from Chicagoland area bars and restaurants for over two years, helping to divert more than 500K lbs. of glass from landfills.

To date, over 400 Protect Our Beaches events have taken place across the country, yielding more than ¼ of a million pounds of recycled glass, which means over ½ a million bottles have been diverted from landfills!

The Glass Recycling Foundation’s “Protect Our Beaches” Program presented by Corona and GlassKing’s #donttrashglass initiative is making several stops in Illinois. Be sure to check it out if it’s near you!

Would You Like to Attend a Corona Crusher Event? See the Schedule Below
Legislative Update from IRA
With the Spring legislative session over, we are awaiting some bills to be signed and others to be revisited in the Fall Veto Session. Watch for news of the Governor signing:

  • SB58- Single-Use Plastic must be replaced with compostable at state agencies and schools.
  • SB683 - Paint Stewardship Act.
  • HB2874 - Packaging EPR bill.
A Note from the IRF President, Marta Keane

This is my last missive as the President of IRF. It has been amazing to serve as the first president these past 3 years as we achieved the 501c3 split from the IRA 501c6. We have remained steady in our mission to provide education, through webinars and conferences and a few tours. Our monthly newsletter is highly read and it has been a pleasure to see our members in it!

I will be remaining on the Board of Directors to fulfill my two-year term, as the past-president and look forward to the election of officers at our July board meeting. We have excellent people dedicated to waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting serving. As we face the challenges of markets, new products and packaging and a confused public, I am confident in our ability to meet each obstacle and overcome it. The conference was inspiring, but nothing compares to the energy and enthusiasm that entrepreneurs bring to our industry year round.

Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you.

IRF Board Elections
The IRF Annual Meeting was held at the Annual Conference on June13. At the meeting, Board members were elected to fill seats that will expire in 2025. The members for those seats are as follows:

Board Member Terms Expiring in 2025
Elisabeth Reed, ISU
Barb Day
Bert Jacobson
Cathy Scratch, Feed Earth Now
Genea Peshek, Helping Hands
Adena Rivas, City of Springfield
Ron Tazelaar, TAZ C&D Recycling
Justin Woycke, Chicago Textile Recycling/Wipeco

Board Member Terms that will Expire in 2024
Luke Fikejs, MW Recyclers
Marta Keane, Will County
Aaron Harmon, Midwest Fiber
Jimmy Larkin, A-Team Recyclers
Heather Presutti, GDB International
Clari Ryan, Kane County
Anthony Tindall, Cook County Department of Environmental Sustainability
The SWMF provides funding for conducting household waste collection and disposal programs. See 415 ILCS 5/22.15(i). Sharps collected from private citizens are a household waste. Illinois EPA MMCS intends to reimburse units of local government that operate a sharps collection station, as defined in Section 3.458 of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, for expenses incurred in collection, storing, and disposing of used sharps. Read more

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of up to $9.5 million for compost and food waste reduction pilot projects for the fiscal year 2023. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost and food waste reduction plans. They are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.  Read more
Thank You to Our 2023 Benefactors!

Consider adding your logo here. Become a 2023 BENEFACTOR for $2000.
If you have already joined and would like to upgrade to this status, send an email to executivedirector@illinoisrecycles.org
Join a Committee
As an IRF member, you are eligible to participate in one or more of our active committees. These committees tend to meet four to six times a year. All committees are seeking new members to participate. We also welcome ideas from you on a committee that would further your goals.
A list of committees is shown below. For more information, please view committee descriptions. To join a committee please contact Sue Steilen.
C & D
Regional Outreach
Social Justice/Diversity
Textile Reuse
Traditional MRF
You can show off in a press release or simply show us your everyday operation. Either way, we can utilize your photos on social media and on our website. We are asking IRF Members to send photos of their recycling and collection operations. Pictures can be of office collection, residential drop-off, MRF sorting lines, curbside service, someone placing items in recycle bins, reuse events, compost operations, etc. Please send jpeg/jpg pictures to info@illinoisrecycles.org.

Cabinet Health, the makers of the world's first refillable and compostable medicine system, is launching its first-ever nationwide pill bottle recycling program to address the pharmaceutical plastic waste crisis.  

Aquafil, widely known for its recycled yarn Econyl, is also investing in diverting one of America’s most complicated waste streams—post consumer carpet.

It may come as a surprise that Americans discard roughly 5 billion pounds of carpet every year. It is even more shocking that the country currentlrecycles only about 2 to 3 percent of that total. But who could’ve guessed that the company set to reverse those numbers is not a carpet manufacturer but a supplier of the yarn that carpet makers source? 

With the date to transition to the R2v3 certification standard one week away, stakeholders estimate dozens of electronics recycling and reuse facilities may temporarily lose their R2 certifications. The lapse could mean serious business consequences for companies. 

Job Postings

SWANCC is hiring a Communications Specialist in Wheeling, IL
Will County is hiring a Communications/Admin Assistant in Joliet, IL
Republic Services has a range of openings, visit their career website.

We encourage members to visit the IRF Membership Directory and find member's websites to see their job listings.
  “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Illinois Recycling Foundation / Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 411, Geneva IL 60134
708 358 0050