History of the Illinois Recycling Association and Illinois Recycling Foundation

The Illinois Recycling Association (IRA), a not-for-profit organization, was formed in 1980 as the Illinois Association of Recycling Centers.  The name was changed to IRA in 1990.  In 2020, the Association successfully split into two united but separate organizations to better address members’ needs.

The Illinois Recycling Association remains the 501(c)6 legislative division, working on various issues that rise to the level of needing legislative action.

The Illinois Recycling Foundation is the 501(c)3 group charged with providing educational literature, events, tours, networking opportunities, webinars and more on a statewide basis.

The membership consists of businesses, haulers and processors, non-profit organizations, municipal, county and state recycling coordinators, educational institutions, consultants, manufacturers of recycled-content products and individuals interested in the industry.

Two Entities with one Mission:

The Illinois Recycling Association’s and the Illinois Recycling Foundation’s mission is to encourage the responsible use of resources by promoting Waste Reduction, Re-Use and Recycling.

The IRA and the IRF strive to:

  • Provide educational leadership through forums, programs, and materials for the exchange of information and ideas;
  • Promote waste reduction, re-use and recycling through public education; and
  • Promote market development that encourages sound recycling initiatives.
  • Acts as voice for the recycling community on state legislative and policy matters.

We welcome everyone whose work is related to recycling in any way to Join Us.  Membership enables you to keep up with the latest developments and network with recycling colleagues. Learn more about some of the benefits on the Membership page.