Member Spotlight: K & S Tire Recycling

In Illinois the Used Tire Management Act was adopted in 1992, creating the Used Tire Management Fund. This fund is supported by $2.50 fee added to the retail price of every new and used tire sold in the state. The Fund is used for Illinois EPA's tire clean-ups, and for inspection and enforcement activities. It used to fund residential collection days, to support market development of items made from recycled tires, and for mosquito-borne disease research and control. Every tire retailer in the state is required by law to take back a quantity of used tires for recycling equal to the quantity of new tires sold. Retailers are also authorized to take additional used tires for a fee, though are not required to do so. The tire retailers and local governments interested in collecting tires from residents must find a tire recycler to actually transport and process the waste tires. That is where K & S Tire Recycling comes in to assist.

Established in 2013, K & S Tire Recycling is a fast growing tire recycling center and service provider based in Chicago Heights. They offer personalized services for all clients, developing programs for large and small fleets and collecting tires used on trucks, trailers, vans and automobiles. Clients can choose direct collection service or a trailer dropped for self-filling.

K & S Tire Recycling is always seeking new ways to turn tires into products that contribute to sustainability. They consult with industry professionals, researching innovations in methods and product lines. Currently they turn tires into mulch, tire-derived fuel, tire-derived aggregate, crumb rubber and ground cover. Please visit their website to learn more about their services at www.kandstirerecycling.com

HOT TOPIC: Battery Recycling

Rechargeable Batteries contain hazardous materials and lithium type batteries in particular are prone to causing fires if the battery is inadvertently damaged during collection, transportation, or processing. When collected for recycling, most rechargeable batteries fall under the federal Universal Waste Rules for storage and handling. These batteries should not be sent to landfills. They should also not be placed into curbside or commercial single stream recycling containers. However, due to confusion among consumers, and the increase used of embedded batteries in an ever-growing variety of applications, rechargeable batteries are being delivered to recycling sorting facilities and causing fires in collection trucks, collection containers, traditional MRFs, C&D facilities and, of course, electronics recycling facilities. IRF and IRA are currently working with the IL Product Stewardship Council, SWANA, NWRA and others to address proper disposal of both rechargeable and single-use batteries (as consumers often have trouble differentiating between battery types). IRF welcomes information from our members on issues improperly disposed batteries are causing their operations and/or examples of solutions addressing collection and education. Please email us at executivedirector@illinoisrecycles.org

Members Partnering to Recover More Materials

Coming up on Nov. 4 (and a few other dates besides), members and other organizations will be hosting Pumpkin Collections, Pumpkin Smashes, Pumpkin Catapults and Pumpkin Pitches throughout Illinois. These events promote composting and keep organic materials out of landfills. Pumpkin composting in the region was inspired by member organization SCARCE 19 years ago, which still plays an important roll in coordinating and promoting these events today. SCARCE is an acronym for School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education, and the Addison-based non-profit offers a variety of reuse and recycling events, along with demonstrating a deep devotion to both backyard and commercial composting.

Fire Extinguisher Recycling

Fire extinguishers contain chemicals that are unsafe to throw into trash or recycle bins. Some require testing and maintenance to confirm when they need to be replaced. The Illinois HHW permanent collection sites and one-day collection events often do not accept fire extinguishers (check specific site or event details to confirm). Additionally, many fire departments have ceased accepting them from residents. Due to lack of options in many areas, fire extinguishers have become noted contaminant in recycling facilities. Some local governments have found ways to address the recycling need. Member Pete Adrian said his agency began offering a monthly drop-off in April utilizing a business partner that charges residents or businesses $3 per extinguisher. Member Will County just released a press release announcing three locations with free drop-off collection for residents and businesses. Member Kane County offers a free HHW home collection program that includes recycling of fire extinguishers to much of the County.

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.

Legislative Update from IRA

The Illinois Recycling Association is about to have their annual meeting and Board election. They encourage members of the IRA to nominate themselves for a Board position by emailing the Executive Director. The number of meetings in a year varies but in general, the Board is expected to be engaged Feb-June for legislative items with monthly board meetings and to assist in outreach to build membership and engagement. The Board is closely following implementation of the packaging legislation that passed last session, the expected re-introduction of a Bottle Bill, concerns about battery recycling (see above) and the sunset of CERA (the Consumer Electronics Recycling Act, which could be expanded to include school and/or non-profit electronics recycling or expanded to include manufacturer-supported recycling of additional items). IRA strives to address legislative concerns of its members and to assist in advocating for and passing state legislation when necessary. Basic membership ensures your voice is heard. Illinois Veto Session begins Oct. 24.

A Note from the IRF Past-president, Marta Keane

Sometimes the call for residents and businesses to reduce waste and recycle may make our members feel like Sisyphus, the legendary Greek King of Corinth that befell a sentence in death to push a boulder up a mountain all day, only to see it roll back down from the top, over and over for eternity. The Sisyphean myth has come to represent futility, and the growth of non-recyclable waste during COVID certainly made many of us feel our efforts have been futile. This increase in hard-to-recycle waste is compounded with the public's perception of recycling failing (or even being complete fiction) due to the 2018 Chinese National Sword policy and ongoing media coverage of plastic recycling failures.

Waste reduction and recycling has always been an effort to change behavior: To nudge people away from easily tossing everything in the garbage without thought towards thinking about how to reduce landfill waste from the point of purchase all the way to the recycling bin, collection drop-off, or compost heap. Together, IRF Members are providing services and educating about the options. We push the behavior change, we refute over-simplified or outdated media accounts, we showcase items made from recovered materials, we extol the virtues of compost. IRF functions best when our members participate, and share their challenges and triumphs. This month, we should note California's passage of their Right-to-Repair law (see below). Durability and repairability of consumer goods are key to reducing waste. We are strong and, unlike the lonely Sisyphus, together we can push any boulder up and over the mountain of challenges.

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

We want to thank all the members that participate in our committees and invite you to join as many hands makes tasks lighter and easier.

Join the Communications & Education Committee if you write or do social media. Just send your press releases to the Executive Director so we can include those in our communications!

We welcome those versed in sales or simply able to promote the value of waste reduction, recycling and composting to join our Membership Committee. This committee meets several times in the Fall and Winter.

Planning is underway for the 2024 Conference and we want everyone's input. Those interested should join the Events & Conference Committee. Help us set up tours anytime and at least a couple at the Conference. Find speakers and create social networking opportunities for all. We event have an Awards subcommittee.

Take a quick minute to fill out our form here or send your choices to executivedirector@illinoisrecycles.org.

If you see a need for a specific topic-focused committee, please let us know!


Detroit City Council Unanimously Backs State Bill to Repeal Plastic Container Preemption Law, Paving the Way for Local Environmental Action

Municipalities and School Districts Discuss the Challenges Associated with Responsible Vape Disposal

New U.S. EPA Report Quantifies Uncaptured Landfill Methane Emissions Associated with Food Waste

Compostable Product Labeling Guidelines Released

The US Composting Council (USCC) headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York City-based Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) have released a set of guiding principles to inform model legislation for labeling compostable products.

Read more

New US EPA Wasted Food Scale

The Wasted Food Scale prioritizes actions that prevent food waste and divert wasted food from disposal. Tiers of the scale highlight different pathways for preventing or managing wasted food, arranged in order from most preferred on the top left to least preferred on the top right. Pathways appearing in the same tier block are ranked equally.

Read more

Right to Repair Now the Law in California

Earlier this month, California's governor signed a right-to-repair bill into law that is being heralded as the nation's strongest to date. The law applies to consumer electronics and appliances with a wholesale value of at least $50 and requires manufactures to make the parts, tools, and information necessary to diagnose and repair problems available to product owners and to repair service providers that are not affiliated with the manufacturer. For the most expensive items, manufacturers must make these resources available for at least seven years after the last date of manufacture. There is speculation that there will be some "California Effect" where manufacturers might make the resources effected by the law available more broadly to avoid the complexities of a state-by-state approach. A "fair repair" bill was introduced to the Illinois General Assembly in 2021, but was ultimately not successful. Right to repair laws can slow the generation of e-waste, only a portion of which is usually addressed by state e-waste recycling laws, increase the fairness of the business landscape for independent repair services, and protect consumers.

Read more

Educational Opportunities
NRC has launched a new website and announced registration information for National Recycling Congress (virtual conference) being held December 5 and 6!

The SWANA Illinois Chapter and Illinois Counties Solid Waste Management Association (ILCSWMA) invite you to learn more about the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment (SB1555 / PA 103-0383), Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging, and their role in improving recycling in Illinois. The plenary session will be held Thursday, October 26, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM during the ILCSWMA Annual Conference at Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center in Utica, Illinois. Presenters will discuss the purpose, scope, and requirements of the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment Act (PA 103-0383) and its impact on stakeholders including local government, recycling haulers and processors, and packaging producers. Learn what data will be collected to support completion of the needs assessment and how you can be involved with this vital study that will inform future legislation and policy regarding packaging and recycling statewide.

The National Zero Waste Conference is an annual two-day virtual educational and networking event organized by Zero Waste USA and their partners. Zero Waste Businesses & Institutions is the focus on Wednesday, October 25 and Zero Waste Communities on Thursday, October 26, 2023.

IRF members can register for the conference at the Affiliate rate ($100). 
You can use this code to register.

Possible Grant Opportunities


Since 2015, the FRC has awarded grants used to increase foam recycling. Additional grant recipients will be announced on an ongoing basis. 

Grant information and application

Job Postings


EV Terra

Maintenance Technician and Operator and Driver in the Chicago area

We encourage all readers to visit the IRF Membership Directory and find member's websites to see their job listings. We post employment opportunities for members at no additional fee. SEND US YOUR JOB POSTINGS.

"Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes it's built on catastrophe."

– Sumner Redstone


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