Collective Resource, Inc. is a woman-owned compost and food scrap pickup service based in Evanston. Collective Resource collects all food waste and compostable products from homes, businesses, and institutions and takes them to a commercial composting site. The food scraps then become ​a nutrient-rich soil amendment instead of sitting in a landfill.

Commercial composting is different from backyard composting, because anything that was once alive (including meat and dairy products) can be composted. In addition to hauling compost, Collective Resource educates the public about the importance of reducing landfill use.

Collective Resource serves more than 50 communities, including 2600 residential customers and 165 commercial customers. Combined, they have composted 1.6 million pounds of waste.
Congratulations On Your Retirement

On behalf of the IRF and IRA Board, Executive Director and our Members, we would like to sincerely thank Gloria McDonald for more than five years of service to the Illinois Recycling Foundation/Association.

This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning.”
Winston Churchill
Our Conference Waste Impact
The IRF's first in-person conference followed in the footsteps of past IRA two day conferences in its effort to be a Zero Waste event. Board Member Mike Nowak successfully reached out to Evanston-based organics hauler Collective Resource Compost, to facilitate food scrap collection, while local ShareFest Will County arranged food donation to a Joliet church and the host site, Joliet Junior College provided standard recycling.
Of course, to reach Zero Waste, the Conference Committee made the decision to avoid single-use items, with only two offerings served with paper napkins. JJC supplied some beverage sweetners in paper packets and utilized compostable wooden stirrers. Food waste was at a minimum because the buffet-style lunch and breakfast enabled attendees to take just the amount that they wanted to eat and included cloth napkins with standard, durable utensils.

Unopened trays of food and untaken boxed lunches were donated and the rest was composted. The Tuesday evening dinner was at a restaurant that donates food to Morning Star Mission. All the conference area food waste generated over the two days fit into 4 5-gallon buckets, weighed in at 62 pounds and was diverted from the landfill to a commercial composting facility. We’re proud that a conference with 120 attendees could have so little food waste.

Additional efforts IRF took to minimize our waste impact:
  • All sponsor and directional signs were donated to the JJC Architectural Studies program where students will reuse the foam board for modeling
  • Name badge holders were collected and will be reused at future events
  • All materials were printed on recycled paper

During the annual meeting on August 30th, an amendment to the By-laws to increase the number of Directors passed establishing an allowance for 8 to 15 Directors. Additionally, the two consecutive terms in any office of the Executive Board was approved to become up to three consecutive years. A six consecutive year director term limit remains in place. Following the approval of the By-law changes, a slate of Board candidates was approved as presented by all present at the annual meeting.

On September 14th, the first meeting of all the old board members and new board members was held as an orientation and for election of executive committee officers. Here is the 2022-2023 Board of Directors:

  • Marta Keane, Will County, President
  • Adena Rivas, City of Springfield, Vice President
  • Mary Margaret Cowhey, Land and Lakes, Treasurer
  • Clair Ryan, Kane County, Secretary

Additional Board Members include:

  • Luke Fikejs, MW Recyclers
  • John Lardner
  • Barb Day
  • Mike Nowak
  • Bert Jacobson
  • Mike Reinert, Cardinal Recycling
  • Jimmy Larkin, A-Team Recyclers
  • Aaron Harmon, Midwest Fiber
  • Heather Presutti, GDB
  • Anthony Tindall, Cook County
The Board is looking forward to a productive year and will focus on membership growth and retention. Plans have begun for the 2023 Conference to be held in June along with upcoming webinars. Let us know your interests and concerns.
IRF Award Recipients
Steve Apotheker Award
The Illinois Recycling Foundation was proud to present our highest recognition to Susan Monte.

Recently Susan retired from Champaign County after working as a Planner from 1999 to 2022. She became the County Recycling Coordinator in 2006, fulfilling that role admirably through retirement. Susan has not allowed retirement to stop her from continuing to learn, teach and inspire others about sustainability practices.

Susan served on the recent Illinois Materials Management Advisory Committee (2020-2021) and earlier attended and provided input to the Task Force on the Advancement of Materials Recycling (2013-2014).

She is a proponent of product stewardship and extended producer responsibility, a member of the Illinois Product Stewardship Council, and supporter of the Product Stewardship Institute.
Susan continues to serve as Executive Director of Champaign County Environmental Stewards (CCES), a nonprofit organization that she founded in 2019. The CCES mission includes:

  • Advancing improved local & regional options for recycling, composting food scraps, and the safe and convenient disposal of household hazardous waste
  • Implementing local & regional solutions to reduce waste, including reducing single-use plastics
  • Providing useful information and resources to assist citizens in these efforts

Susan likes to believe each of us has potential to positively impact and improve the world somehow. Favorite quotes include: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

To us, she embodied that quote in her efforts to research permanent Household Hazardous Waste collection services for the Champaign County area. It is our belief that it was this research that contributed to the recent expansion of statewide services by the Illinois EPA and her work will continue to improve services across Illinois.
Outstanding Public Sector Award
Madison County was recognized as the Outstanding Public Sector Program for their pursuit and achievement of opening a Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. This is the first such permanent site to be opened in Illinois in 20 years! The Madison County Building and Zoning Department worked diligently over several years to facilitate the installation of this valuable service. This is the only permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site in Southern Illinois.

They received guidance from the Illinois EPA and Heritage Environmental, a hazardous waste contractor. With the opening of this facility, the county has been able to quadruple their annual hazardous waste collection numbers in just a few months.
Outstanding Private Sector Award
For Outstanding Private Sector program, GDB International, headquartered in Nashville, IL was recognized for their advancement of latex paint recycling in Illinois and beyond. GDB is an international recycled latex paint manufacturing company. Over the past 20 years, they have recovered over 1.5 BILLION pounds of paint across the USA and approximately 375 million pounds of paint was from Illinois. GDB works in multiple states that have passed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation requiring manufacturers to offer Paint Take-back programs. GDB, has been working to see such legislation passed in Illinois to recover both paint and containers for recycling. They currently employ 125 people but expect that to grow if more states pass Paint EPR laws.
IRF President's Award
The Illinois Recycling Foundation President presented the President’s Award to 
Ron Tazelaar for his unwavering commitment to the sustainability of the Construction and Demolition Recycling industry.
Ron Tazelaar is the owner of Taz Recycling and several other Chicagoland Construction and Demolition recycling firms that alerted the IRA to concerns about the C&D industry in 2020 when locations for recycling and reuse opportunities for drywall were evaporating.

Without this material being recognized as beneficial use or recycled, the very foundation of C&D recycling was jeopardized based on Illinois law.
As the IRF split from the IRA, the IRA employed a lobbyist and passed a law to address the situation in their first year! This was due to many C&D recyclers, coupled with public and private support but it was Ron that led the effort. Ron was instrumental in the successful split of the IRA and IRF and has remained the legislative liaison to the IRF these past two years.
More From the Conference
Senator Linda Holmes Welcomes Attendees
Marta Keane, IRF Board President and Will County Recycling Specialist, thanks Senator Holmes for taking time to visit with exhibitors after welcoming conference guests on the morning of August 30.

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes is a member of Senate President Don Harmon's leadership team. She has served in the Illinois State Senate since 2006, bringing her experience as a successful small business owner and community volunteer to the General Assembly.

Her business perspective contributes to her record in economic development and increased government efficiency. Her commitment to all Illinoisans is seen in her legislative action to improve health, well-being and quality of life. She is a strong supporter of a variety of environmental issues which has earned recognition from the Illinois Environmental Council.

She has been named Legislator of the Year by the Illinois EMS Alliance for her support of their life-saving work, and also by the United States Humane Society for her animal welfare legislation concerning research dogs and cats, animal shelters, and reducing the number of exotic animals in roadside zoos.

The senator is currently working on Paint EPR legislation. We look forward to more progress in this coming legislative year.
National Recycling Coalition President,
Bob Gedert Addresses the Audience
Bob Gedert, the current President of the National Recycling Coalition; and a Cincinnati-based consultant with 40+ years of experience in guiding communities toward sustainable materials management through a systems approach, bridging recycling best practices and sustainability toward local circular economies, provided conference attendees with the keynote presentation.

He has experience in building local economic development practices with zero waste goals through private-public partnerships that utilize local markets for recyclables through innovative entrepreneurships and collaborative business networks.

In his presentation, which addressed the conference theme of how recycling can combat climate change, Gedert held a captivated audience as he discussed Net Negative CO2 Impacts through recycling, reuse and waste reduction, the Circular Economy, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies and Responses to Climate Change. (His arrival, driving from Ohio in an Electric Vehicle, also generated questions which may lead to a future webinar on alternative transportation options)
Silent Auction Tops $500
Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and exhibitors, and of course, to all those who bid on silent auction items, IRF raised over $565 to start the IRF Scholarship Fund.

The silent auction was open during day one of the Conference and continued into the evening at Heros West Sports Bar and Grill.

With a bit of friendly competition and some unique items, the auction was an overall success. Please monitor future newsletters to learn more about the IRF Scholarship Fund.
IRF Conference Tours
The Compost Tour featured a stop at Lewis University in Romeoville where students and staff are composting food scraps at the main cafeteria through their waste collection contractor and a second stop at Willow Ranch Composting Facility (pictured below) where participants will see food scrap and lawn materials being composted together.

The Recycling Tour went to Morris to see Cardinal Recycling and FAMCe. Both members of IRF, these companies recycle entirely different materials. At the first stop, Cardinal Recycling (pictured to left), attendees saw brand-new shredders that have been installed over the past eight months. This is a specialty company, concentrating on recovery of difficult to recycle plastic products generated from manufacturers and commercial businesses.
The pre-conference tour included a tour of JJC’s Natural Areas, a valuable natural resource for teaching lessons in biodiversity, land stewardship and conservation.

The Prairie & Forest Trails included examples of exposed bedrock formation, erratics, deciduous forest, vernal pond, Rock Run Creek, an oak savannah, and more.
Legislative Update from IRA

While our State legislators are on a break, we can take a peek at some federal efforts to improve recycling and composting. Here is a list of items that have passed or been introduced:
This bill provides support for recycling programs.

Specifically, the bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a program to award grants to improve the effectiveness of residential and community recycling programs through public education and outreach.

In addition, the EPA must develop a model recycling program toolkit for states, Native American tribes, and local governments.

Finally, the bill specifies that the EPA's review of its federal procurement guidelines for purchasing certain recycled materials and items made with such materials must occur at least once every five years.

Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act
This bill sets forth requirements and incentives to reduce the production of a variety of products and materials, including plastics, and increase efforts to collect, recycle, or compost products and materials.

The bill makes certain producers of products (e.g., packaging, paper, single-use products, beverage containers, or food service products) fiscally responsible for collecting, managing, and recycling or composting the products after consumer use. In addition, the bill establishes (1) minimum percentages of products that must be reused, recycled, or composted; and (2) an increasing percentage of recycled content that must be contained in beverage containers.

Beginning on January 1, 2023, the bill phases out a variety of single-use products, such as plastic utensils. The bill also sets forth provisions to encourage the reduction of single-use products, including by establishing programs to refund consumers for returning beverage containers and by establishing a tax on carryout bags.

The bill creates a temporary moratorium on new or expanded permits for certain facilities that manufacture plastics until regulations are updated to address pollution from the facilities.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must publish guidelines for a national standardized labeling system for recycling and composting receptacles. Producers must include labels on their products that are easy to read and indicate whether the products are recyclable, compostable, or reusable. The EPA must also ensure that certain clothes washers have filtration units as required by this bill.

Finally, the bill establishes limitations on the export of plastic waste to other countries.
CLEAN Future Act
This bill creates requirements and incentives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The bill establishes an interim goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 as well as a national goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Each federal agency must develop a plan to achieve the goals.

Beginning in 2023, retail electricity suppliers must provide an increasing percentage of electricity that is generated without the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (zero-emission electricity). By 2035, the suppliers must provide 100% zero emission electricity or demonstrate alternative means of compliance. For example, the suppliers may buy credits under a trading program that allows entities to buy, sell, and trade credits to demonstrate compliance.

The bill also establishes a variety of requirements, programs, and incentives to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by modernizing the electric grid and supporting clean energy microgrids; increasing the use of renewable energy and advanced nuclear power technologies; increasing energy efficiency in buildings, homes, and appliances; supporting clean transportation, including electric vehicles and related charging infrastructure; issuing greenhouse gas standards for certain vehicles, engines, and aircraft; promoting manufacturing and industrial decarbonization, including through buy-clean programs; supporting environmental justice efforts; and reducing methane, plastics, and super pollutants.

The main purpose of the COMPOST Act is: “To require the designation of composting as a conservation practice and activity, and to provide grants and loan guarantees for composting facilities and programs, and for other purposes.”

Recycling and Composting Accountability Act
This bill establishes data collection and reporting requirements concerning recycling and composting programs. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency must report on the capability of the United States to implement a national composting strategy for compostable materials in order to reduce contamination rates for recycling.

Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act
This bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a pilot grant program for improving recycling accessibility in communities.
Most recently, the president signed The Inflation Reduction Act. This law offers incentives for biogas, EVs, and has a social/environmental justice component. It is considered the largest effort to address Climate Change undertaken but also has a fair share of critics.
A Note from the President, Marta Keane

It was absolutely wonderful to see so many of you at the conference. We were able to hold most of it in large rooms with many comfortable without masks and some donning them in the classroom areas only. I am so pleased not to have heard of any outbreaks related to our conference and know that next year we will have even more exhibitors and participants as we get through this unique situation. While we were unable to fund a full time Executive Director as planned with the profits, we are well positioned to grow and provide important services to our members and, possibly, to the public. The new board is considering making Webinars free to the public if we significantly increase the sponsorship fee. If you have feedback on this idea, please let us know. Thank you for all you do to improve recycling, reuse, composting and so much more in Illinois!
Join Us for a Scrap Metal Market Update
September 28 at 10:30 a.m.
via Zoom

This month's webinar features Brian Matza from the Fortune Group and Alex Curi from Midwest Industrial Metals. This interactive discussion will address scrap metal markets, updates in Illinois and market effects to IRF.

Registration is free for members and $50.00 for non-members.
November Recycling Professionals Webinar
November 1 at 10:30 a.m.
via Zoom
This interactive webinar will discuss how the Recycling Partnership is driving innovative, human-centered solutions that improve recycling.
Please apply now. The majority of work is performed from your own home. We are offering $30 per hour as a contractor. We cannot offer health or retirement benefits at this time. It is a collaborative environment and fulfilling position.

We encourage members to view our Member Directory where many websites lead to job postings.
Visit the IRF Membership Directory and find member's websites to see their job listings.

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. more reflective of our members, 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
(It's not too late to add your name)
Consider adding your logo here. Become a 2022 BENEFACTOR for $1000.
If you have already joined and would like to upgrade to this status, send an email to
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Why Membership is Important
As much as we appreciate everyone's interest in waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting; our organization can only provide the educational and networking opportunities needed to bring private business, government, educational institutions and non-profits together if we have paying members. So, please, if you are an avid reader of this newsletter, which we know hundreds are each month, then become a member today. Click to JOIN or RENEW!

Innovation grows out of membership and a sure sense of responsibility people feel for their work and the organizations that employ them. Abraham Zaleznik
Illinois Recycling Foundation / Illinois Recycling Association, PO Box 411, Geneva IL 60134
708 358 0050