Ralph Nader Headlines Speakers at 5th Annual NYC Reuse Sector Conference

May 31, 2012


NYC Materials Exchange Development Program (NYC MEDP) is pleased to announce the enormous success of the 5th Annual NYC Reuse Sector Conference, held last Thursday, May 17th. Featuring a keynote addresses by environmental and consumer advocate Ralph Nader, this year’s conference drew attendees representing over thirty local and regional organizations, agencies and programs.

The 2012 NYC Reuse Sector Conference, Exploring the Competitive Edge of Materials Reuse, examined the methodologies and best practices for measuring and promoting the environmental benefits, green jobs and social impact of reuse. The program included opening remarks from Robert Lange, Director of the Department of Sanitation’s Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling who highlighted the role of the NYC reuse sector in the solid waste management.

Mr. Lange was followed by presentations on NYC MEDP’s research on Transportation and Environmental Impact in the NYC Reuse Sector, presented by Dr. Alison Conway of the City College of New York; and Lorena Fortuna, NYC MEDP Project Coordinator. Additional speakers included Dr. Martin Kohli and Ms. Sharon Stang, Economists from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, who presented on Methodologies of Green Job Measurement, and Ms. Gillian Gutierrez, Program Analyst, Women’s Bureau Region II Office of the U.S. Department of Labor who presented on Women in Green Jobs.

Listed by Time magazine as “One of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth Century” and The Atlantic as “One of the 100 Most Influential Americans in American History,” Mr. Nader took the podium, keenly pointing out his second-hand suit, tie and shirt. His talk “Turning Tides,” addressed societal change and how reuse organizations can turn these changes into competitive advantages. Following this address Dr. Thomas Lyons, Lawrence N. Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship at Baruch College [CUNY] and co-author of “Understanding Social Entrepreneurship: The Relentless Pursuit of Mission in an Ever-Changing World”, presented on Social Impact Measurement and Promotion of Materials Donation and Reuse. Dr. Lyons then introduced a panel on the same subject featuring Mr. William J. Forrester, President & CEO, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey; Mr. Sheldon Hirshon, Founding Member & Former Board President, New York Cares; Mr. David Raper, Vice President of Thrifts Retail, Housing Works Inc.; and, Ms. Katherine Snider, Executive Director, Baby Buggy. These panelists finished off the day’s events by sharing with attendees examples of their organizations methodologies in social impact assessment.

“The highlight of the conference for me and our organization,” remarked Ms. Elaine Chow, Community Relations Manager for Room to Grow, “was seeing our environmental impact in concrete terms, just from taking and redistributing these items that could've otherwise ended up in a landfill. It's really quite amazing and I'm impressed with NYC MEDP spearheading the effort in education and strengthening our collective work.”

NYC MEDP hosts the city's annual reuse conference each year for its member organizations and affiliates. For more information contact info@nycmedp.org