10:45am-2:30pm CT

Zoom Meeting Instructions will be sent this morning to all those who register.










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Welcome & Recap of IRA's Recent Activities by Ron Tazelaar, IRA's President - Webinars on Electronics, C&D FINES & An Exciting Announcement

James Jennings, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) speaks about the Agency's Activities and Materials Management Efforts

Contamination Task Force & Dirty Dozen Education, Jennifer Jarland, Kane County

Curbside Recycling Markets Update
Greg Maxwell, Resource Management Companies (RMC)

Lunch With Us During IRA's Annual Meeting.
Includes Election of Officers, Budget Recap, Recycler of the Year Award

GDB International leads Virtual Tour of their Paint Recycling Facility in Nashville IL

Residential Electronics This Year & Next, Jessica Miller, IEPA

Textile Recycling Ups & Downs of COVID-19
Justin Woycke, Chicago Textile Recycling

Closing Remarks, Ron Tazelaar, IRA's President
Members Register for FREE
Non-Members Register for $75
Sponsorships Available @ $250 (includes membership through 12/31/2020 if currently a Non-Member).
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JPL Environmental Engineering is a sole practitioner engineering company focused on design, permitting, construction and operation of organic material composting facilities. Assistance is provided to clients ranging in size from small community compost projects to larger commercial operations. Compost operation technologies supported vary from open windrow composting to more sophisticated approaches such as aerated static piles. The goal of the company is to assist those who seek to increase diversion of food scrap and yard waste from landfills by recycling them into useful soil amendment products. Their clients include both privately and publicly operated compost facilities throughout Illinois.

John Lardner PE is the owner, a board member of the Illinois Recycling Association and board member of the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition where he serves as the Illinois liaison to the US Composting CouncilHe has been a member of the Illinois Recycling Association for over two decades and values their efforts to reduce all organic matter from going to landfills.
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

Letter to the Governor about Reusable Bags.
You will recall that last month we reported that the Illinois Recycling Association sent a letter to Governor Pritzker asking the Governor to allow the use of reusable bags. The letter, along with the scientific references, can be viewed here. We are informed that the Governor should make his decision this week. Please inform your local officials and retailers of this information so recycling programs resume in locations that have temporarily halted them.
As a member in good standing of the Illinois Recycling Association, you have the distinct opportunity to determine the incoming leadership for this organization. Your vote will sustain a broad representation of recycling professionals on our Board of Directors. Six (6) candidates are on the slate for the 2020-2021 year. 
Announcement of election results and assumption of board responsibilities will occur at IRA's Annual Meeting which will be held virtually on Wednesday September 16, 2020.
Click Here to review the slate of candidates and vote your choices. 
Ballots must be received no later than 12Noon CT Tuesday September 15, 2020.
If you have questions about this vote or would like to speak with a board member, please call 708-358-0050 or send an email to

Mark your Calendars

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - Webinar on New International Requirements for Exports and Imports of Plastic Recyclables
September 24, 2020, from 12Noon - 1:00 pm CT

This webinar will explain the new international requirements for exports and imports of plastic recyclables or scrap. In May 2019, 187 countries decided to significantly restrict international trade in plastic scrap and waste to help address the improper disposal of plastic waste and reduce its leakage into the environment. As a result of these changes adopted under a treaty called the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, international shipments of most plastic scrap and waste will be allowed only with the prior written consent of the importing country and any transit countries, effective January 1, 2021. The new Basel provisions will significantly limit the market for U.S. plastic recyclables. The United States has one such agreement that addresses trade in non-hazardous plastic scrap with member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the webinar will discuss how plastic scrap is covered under that agreement.
Conference Webinar Schedule At A Glance

Thursdays, 12Noon – 1:00pm CT unless noted otherwise.
Future webinars are complimentary to NZWC registrants, so please consider registering for the conference for all of this great content, or each webinar is $25.

Sep 24 Implementation of ZW in Buildings on Campuses & Businesses, 11am-1pm CT
Oct 8  Reduce and Reuse
Oct 22  Webinar A: ReThink and Redesign
Oct 22  Webinar B: Zero Waste Community Planning
Nov 5 National Policy Town Hall on National Legislation and Regulations 11am-1pm CT
Nov 19 Finding Markets for Hard to Recycle Materials
Once you register, you will receive additional webinar registration information via email. 

Emerging Solutions for Emerging Materials

One of the few constants in materials management is the growing market of new products sold to consumers that need to be evaluated. Indeed, an ever-expanding population of consumer items means the universe of end-of-life handling issues is also perpetually growing.  Traditionally, the default solution was landfilling. However, that is often environmentally undesirable and does not have to be the logical result. Recognizing that, the Illinois EPA is stepping up to promote landfill alternatives for two emerging materials streams: e-cigarettes and cannabis products. 

Don’t Let Diversion Opportunities Go Up in Smoke

E-cigarettes are electronic devices used to simulate smoking tobacco or cannabis. Devices are typically handheld, battery-powered, noncombustible products that vaporize a liquid solution containing nicotine or cannabis extract. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8% of American adults, or approximately 7 million people in the United States, use e-cigarettes regularly. In general, e-cigarettes should be handled like any other item at the end of its useful life. Unique waste handling issues linked to e-cigarettes are tied to three components that do not necessarily need to be landfilled: batteries, e-liquids, and the device itself.

E-cigarettes should not be placed in curbside bins for recycling because they are often not made of the type of plastic that can be recovered through curbside recycling, and they often contain batteries. 

·        Batteries. Batteries are banned from curbside recycling bins because of the fire risk batteries pose when comingled with other items. If possible, batteries should be removed from e-cigarettes and taken to a battery recycler. 
·        E-Liquids. Unused e-liquids and containers with e-liquid residue should be handled as household hazardous waste, if generated by individuals. These wastes may pose human health and environmental concerns because they may contain nicotine and other materials that could be hazardous. If littered or otherwise not properly handled, discarded e-liquid containers could impact soil or waterways and thereby expose Illinois residents to potentially hazardous materials.  E-liquid containers should be taken to a household hazardous waste collection site for safe handling.
·        E-Cigarette Devices. Some e-cigarettes can be recycled or reused by returning them to the point of purchase. Users should clean e-cigarettes prior to returning them. Information on cleaning e-cigarettes can be found here.

Using these currently available services helps protect the environment from the release of hazardous materials and minimizes the amount of material that goes to landfills.

Go Green while Growing Green

Effective January 1, 2020, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Illinois. As cultivation centers and growers have expanded in Illinois, new cannabis-impacted materials streams have emerged. The cultivation and use of cannabis may generate wastes such as marijuana plant material, infused products, fertilizers, solvents, wastewater, mercury-containing lighting, cleaning solutions, and universal wastes (batteries, pesticides, mercury containing equipment, lamps, etc.). The end-of-life handling method varies from waste stream to waste stream, but is based on existing Illinois law. Cannabis growth and use generates two types of materials that are excellent candidates for landfill diversion: household-generated growing agents and organic material.

Illinois law only allows medical cannabis patients to grow cannabis plants at home. Home growers may generate a wide range of potentially problematic materials, including herbicides, pesticides, cleaning products, solvents, and fluorescent light bulbs needed to cultivate cannabis plants. These wastes may be disposed of at an Illinois EPA-authorized Household Hazardous Waste collection location, which helps prevent the release of hazardous materials to the environment.

Organic waste is, by volume, the largest waste stream related to cannabis growth and use. State law requires organic cannabis waste, such as cannabis and cannabis-infused products, be rendered unusable at the end of its life by mixing it with other non-consumable materials. Cannabis waste should not be mixed with toxic substances, such as bleach or ammonia, to render the waste unusable. The resulting mixture does not necessarily have to be landfilled. In fact, cannabis waste mixed with food scraps or landscape wastes may be sent to a permitted compost facility or anaerobic digester. This helps minimize the volume of material we generate that is not recovered and instead is used to create a valuable soil additive. 

The Illinois EPA remains committed to aiding and encouraging the development of disposal alternatives for new and unique materials streams derived from constantly evolving commercial operations in order to protect the health, welfare, and environment for the citizens of Illinois. 

Farewell to a Pioneer -“The Mike Nowak Show” signed off Sunday after more than 20 years on Chicago radio — including the last four on north suburban Evanston Broadcasting talk station WCGO 1590-AM/95.9-FM and SmartTalk Radio Network.

Billed as “Chicago’s only long-form, deep-green gardening and environment radio program,” it was co-hosted by Peggy Malecki, publisher of Natural Awakenings Chicago magazine. Nowak told fans he’s moving the show exclusively online to Be sure to follow Mike online and check out his podcasts. He often has IRA members on his show.

In recent years, Mike Nowak was a board member of the Illinois Recycling Association and served as its Events Chairman.

Waste Management report shows untapped recycling potential, clarifies policy positions

NWRA presents 2020 best-in-recycling awards
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."
John Maynard Keynes British Economist
Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 6957, Villa Park IL 60181
708 358 0050