Welcome to the homepage of Reuse Alliance IL! Founded in the fall of 2014, we are organizing and connecting Illinois' reuse community - from the Loop, to the suburbs and statewide. Reuse Alliance IL (RA-IL) aims to create community and foster dialogue on reuse issues regionally and beyond. Our chapter includes professionals from diverse business sectors, working together towards zero waste.


RA-IL's membership includes representatives from The WasteShed, Building Materials Reuse Association, Plant Chicago, Educational Assistance Ltd., Rebuilding Exchange and non-affiliated members Kathleen Pletcher, Sophie Misson and Nicolette Stosur-Bassett.

Join Us

Our community is dedicated to developing innovative reuse solutions that strengthen businesses and the local economy.

Find out what's happening and how you can get involved: contact RA-IL's Chapter Coordinator at nicolette@reusealliance.org.

Chapter News

MARCH 2016

In March, RA-IL Chapter Coordinator Nicolette Stosur-Bassett presented on reuse and the circular economy to a class of seniors at Loyola University who are studying circular economy principles and practices. Click through to view:



January's chapter meeting was an exciting screening of Agnès Varda's The Gleaners and I, complete with movie treats and a post-film discussion on living a materials-conscious life.

A 2000 French documentary film by Agnès Varda that features various kinds of gleaning . The film tracks a series of gleaners as they hunt for food, knicknacks, discarded items, and personal connection.

A 2000 French documentary film by Agnès Varda that features various kinds of gleaning . The film tracks a series of gleaners as they hunt for food, knicknacks, discarded items, and personal connection.



In October, RA-IL featured a presentation by Steven Wright, Founder of 4Walls International, an organization building with reused materials at the border between San Diego and Tijuana. 4Walls empowers socially and environmentally degraded communities to turn trash into the building blocks for community centers, schools, creative gathering places, infrastructure improvements, affordable housing and other infill development projects. In his presentation,  Steven discussed the myriad opportunities for community development and local empowerment through an economically viable trash-centered organizational model. View Steven's presentation below:



August's chapter meeting featured Dominic Brose, Soil Scientist at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Dominic presented on the District's biosolids program: the science behind treating human waste, various applications for local and regional reuse and recent legislation within Illinois government in support of biosolids. Click through to Dominic's presentation below:

Dominic's presentation brought a great turn-out by non-reuse folks as well, including several employees of Elevate Energy. A big thanks to Delta Institute for hosting our event!


JUNE 2015

On June 19th, RA-IL Chapter Coordinator Nicolette Stosur-Bassett presented at the Illinois Recycling Association's joint annual conference with the IL Counties Solid Waste Management Assoc. and the Solid Waste Agency of North America. Nicolette's presentation focused on storytelling as a powerful force within the reuse community, highlighting reuse stories from RA-IL members. Click through to view the full presentation below. Unique among other presentations, this was the conference's only dedicated discussion on reuse.

OSCEdays Chicago: June 11-15, 2015

Open Source Circular Economy Days (OSCEdays) 2015 is a diverse & globally distributed event using Open Source methodology to build a Circular Economy.

OSCEdays is an open platform. June 11-15, 2015 workshops, teardowns, co-design and prototyping took place simultaneously in various cities all over the world. Local events were organized by local groups, focusing on local challenges. Cities were connected through various media channels including open video conferences, continuous online documentation, contributing to a global conversation and pool of knowledge on the Open Source Circular Economy. 

In its inaugural year, OSCEdays 2015 engaged participants from over 25 countries around the world in events and dialogue on the circular economy. The US' first participant, OSCEdays Chicago invited organizations and businesses to define the circular economy by participating in distributed events city-wide. These events were envisioned as small as staff brainstorming sessions defining participating organizations' role in the circular economy or robust as a public event engaging organizational constituents. 

In collaboration with Reuse Alliance IL member Plant Chicago NFP, RA-IL co-hosted a Kick-Off Happy Hour at Lone Wolf in Chicago's West Loop on June 11th, organized circular economy events throughout the weekend and convened for a Closing Reception at the WBEZ Community Room at Navy Pier on June 15th (during an EPIC rainstorm no less!) to brainstorm, map and discuss open source circular economy projects across the city.

The OSCEdays Chicago Closing Reception was generously sponsored by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, New Belgium Brewery and Whole Foods. Click through to view event presentations/documentation and pictures from the Closing Reception. We look forward to participating again next year!



MAY 2015

At our May chapter meeting, Reuse Alliance Illinois welcomed Steering Committee member Sophie Misson, an employee of the French Trade Consulate, who presented to our group on the waste and reuse systems in France. Her fascinating presentation spotlighted opportunities for policy intervention advocating reuse, social services programs emergent from reuse materials streams and the novel methods French déchetteries employ to tackle the stigma of community waste processing. For further reading, click through to Sophie's presentation and corresponding notes below. Many thanks to the Cook County Department of Environmental Control for hosting!


MARCH 2015

Reuse Alliance IL enthusiastically welcomed Sheila Caplis of USAgain, a for-profit global textile recycling firm, as part of our newly launched Featured Speaker series. At bi-monthly chapter meetings, RA-IL members and the public are invited to a presentations on reuse in the Illinois area and beyond. Sheila's riveting presentation (click through to view below) touched on many relevant issues related to textile recycling and reuse in both local and global contexts. Thank you Sheila, we hope to continue the conversation!


FEB 2015

In partnership with the Building Materials Reuse Association, Reuse Alliance IL is excited to present an Environmental Leadership Survey for the 2015 Mayoral and Aldermanic elections in Chicago. This survey was sent to many incumbent and challenging candidates city-wide. We received some great responses, especially from challenging mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia! This survey represents one of the only dedicated dialogues on environmental issues in the 2015 Chicago elections. View survey results here. The survey release was also accompanied by a public petition signed by Chicago residents, encouraging candidates to take the survey and state their views on sustainability issues throughout the city. These efforts speak to Reuse Alliance IL & the BMRA's ongoing commitment to integrated waste management solutions and sustainable development throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond.