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Will County recycling specialist elected to state, national roles
Tammy Reiher

Will County recycling specialist elected to state, national roles

JOLIET -- Will County Recycling Specialist Marta Keane has been elected to state and national roles in the field of recycling.

Will County Executive Denise Winfrey said, “I am proud that Marta’s passion for caring for our Earth has been recognized. I’m sure that passion will be evident to those with whom she will serve.”

Keane has been chosen to be the first president of the newly formed non-profit, Illinois Recycling Foundation.  It is an off-shoot of the nearly 40-year-old Illinois Recycling Association, of which Keane was president 2012-2014.

The recycling association created the new group to handle the types of work Keane has been doing for Will County the past 15 years -- recycling education, presentations, and networking events for those involved in making recycling work for residents and businesses.

“It is exciting to be part of this brand new organization, with all the history and accomplishments of the IRA as our foundation,” said Keane. “The board has been talking about this since the late 1990s, and we are working together to provide greater services to business, college and government members, while also encouraging residents to become involved.”

Together with 11 solid waste, recycling and composting professionals, the Illinois Recycling Foundation is charting a course in addressing Illinois recycling infrastructure needs, improving recycling education, addressing market conditions and more. The recycling association is now free to focus on legislative needs of the members and better address issues that hinder recyclers and recycling markets across the state, Keane explained.

Keane was also elected to the National Recycling Coalition board. Founded in 1978, the National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization comprised of concerned individuals and environmental, labor, and business organizations which wish to promote the recovery and reuse of materials and energy.

NRC encourages the collection and development of more processing venues, along with the purchase and promotion of recycled materials.

“As a member of NRC since 1992, it is an honor to be elected to serve on their board, alongside some of the brightest and most dedicated recycling professionals in the country,” said Keane.

“It is my goal to work with others to bring some of the service issues brought to light during the coronavirus pandemic the national attention they warrant. Recycling was deemed an essential service in many states, including Illinois, with emphasis from manufacturers, that this industry is an important part of our economy.”

Keane works in the Resource Recovery and Energy Division of the Will County Land Use Department. The Land Use Department is led by Director David Dubois and is under Executive Winfrey’s office.

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Will County Executive Bertino-Tarrant encourages residents to seek help for mental health challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

Will County Executive Bertino-Tarrant encourages residents to seek help for mental health challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

The impact of the pandemic on social determinants of health, such as employment, income levels, and housing and food security has led to a growing concern regarding the long-term impact on mental health. These factors are also leading to new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, four in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depression.
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