Reuse, RE-use, RE:

Just on my way back from the "Reuse Summit" at Devens Massachusetts, where sponsored a dinner of reuse advocates. Reuse was a track of the conference, held by Grass Roots Recycling Network, generally a "Zero Waste" group of hard-core former National Recycling Coalition members. It was great to catch up with folks like Jack De Bell, Ric Anthony, and the CRRA California crowd. (Didn't get to talk to Julie Muir, buy Hiii!)

Anyway, Good Point Recycling sponsored the dinner conversation in the name of WR3A, it was moderated by MaryEllen Etienne. About 30 attendees, most of them well known in the recycling field.

I shared the challenges of the World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association, which at certain points of fantasy aspired to represent all types of reuse. We wound up specializing in electronics, and there, mostly as a speed bump on the road to stopping all reuse exports.

We got traction by publishing useful data on one page, the "Mining Factsheet" of 2003 (mostly designed to point out that if exports are curtailed so much that the products we buy result in mining, then the perfect has become the enemy of the good). With the hits on that page, we attracted people with a similar mission. The first grant came three years later. Two weeks ago, to be precise. I am working on a press release. It's fantastic. Stay tuned.

The temptation is to start a directory of all reuse businesses. I think Craigslist has that covered. They can go to secondary research, from Dept of Commerce and places like Rochester Institute of Technology (Dr. Nasr is a remanufacturing guru there), and try to distill a "Factsheet". If the facts draw people, they have an audience ("Hey! That describes MY business!") and businesses will link to it or refer people to it. That can become a mailing list.

We'll stay in touch. We have revamped the Certification Tool page at More on that, too, will come later.

1 comment:

MaryEllen Etienne said...

Thanks Robin for getting the word out.

The Reuse Alliance was indeed thrilled to host the 1st National Reuse Summit as part of the reuse track we developed for the GRRN National Zero Waste Conference. Once again, we'd like to thank all four event co-sponsors for their support: Green Office Systems, iWasteNot Systems, US EPA Region 2, and WR3A.

The summit brought together over 30 people from around the country for a spirited discussion about reuse. Participants represented leaders from reuse sector organizations, government agencies, environmental educators, and community activists. We had conversations about the importance of data and outreach on raising public awareness of reuse, and several actionable ideas came out of the summit. These discussions helped further develop a strategy that will allow the Reuse Alliance to help meet the needs of the reuse sector. If anyone would like to review the proceedings from the 1st National Reuse Summit, or the reuse panels that took place earlier that day, please visit our website (

Readers may also be interested to hear that the Reuse Alliance is launching our campaign to establish a "National Reuse Day" on October 20th of every year (the date was chosen in acknowledgment of the National Reuse Summit). We hope you will join in this effort. Please contact us for more information.

Lastly, I would like to encourage all of Robin's blog readers to help support our work by becoming an official member of Reuse Alliance (


MaryEllen Etienne
Executive Director
Reuse Alliance

Reuse is the original green collar job!

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