[Re]Verse Pitch Competition in Austin

In November, the City of Austin and several community partners will host its first [Re]Verse Pitch Competition. The event will bring together organizations that have a consistent supply of valuable raw materials with social entrepreneurs to develop new business concepts. A team of experts has been brought together to mentor the entrepreneurs through the process. The Final Competition will be judged and an Innovation Prize awarded. 

OPENING PITCH: November 3, 2015
FINAL COMPETITION:  December 9, 2015

Learn More: http://reversepitch.org/

National Reuse Day Social Media Ideas

Source: Reuse Alliance TX chapter

Source: Reuse Alliance TX chapter

National Reuse Day is on Tuesday, October 20th. Rebecca Stuch of the Reuse Alliance TX chapter, put together some ways to promote your reuse ideas on social media.

  • How do you reuse at work?
  • How do you reuse at home?
  • How do your reuse at school or at other places in your community?

On October 20th, tell people how you reuse using #ireuse, #reuse, or #reuseday. Be sure to mention Reuse Alliance @reusealliance. 

Chapter News

California Chapter

With the help of grant funding from the Altamont Education Advisory Board, the Reuse Alliance California Chapter is working on developing a local chapter program. This local chapter program aims to create more value and relevance for members through more localized, in-person engagements with the Reuse Alliance. The program is kicking off with a newly formed San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, coordinated by Nicole Gaetjens in the newly created role of SF Bay Area Chapter Organizer. In coordination with the Chapter Steering Committee, the Chapter Organizer will act as the central organizer and point of contact for RA member activities in the SF Bay Area. These activities include, but are not limited to, member meetings and activities, Reuse Race, and membership development. Additional grant funding is being sought to expand the program. If you are interested in starting a local chapter in Californai, please contact sfbay@reusealliance.org. 

Illinois Chapter

  • The Illinois Chapter launched its new webpage on the RA website last month: reusealliance.org/illinois. The webpage features click-through links to chapter presentations on reuse efforts here in Illinois and around the world. Webpages for other chapters are coming soon!
  • Our upcoming bi-monthly chapter meeting in October will feature a reuse presentation by Steven Wright of 4Walls International, a nonprofit organization that uses trash as building blocks for community centers, schools and more at the border between San Diego and Tijuana. We plan to share this presentation on the webpage in the future, if any members are interested. 

Oregon Chapter

The Oregon Chapter is partnering with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to promote Oregon DEQ's new Reuse, Repair and Product Lifespan Extension Project. The project will help Oregon DEQ prepare foundational background information and recommendations for a strategic plan, to be finalized in 2016, on long-term projects to reduce environmental impacts through extending the lifespan of products, including support for Oregon’s repair and reuse industries. This project is part of Oregon DEQ's implementation of Oregon's 2050 Vision and Framework for Action for Materials Management. Oregon DEQ is hosting an in person meeting and webinar on October 20th and the Oregon Chapter is helping to identify stakeholders and possible partners as this project develops.

Meet Board Member Stefanie Feldman


Stefanie Feldman is a strategic account manager with Waste Management and has been involved with Reuse Alliance from the beginning. Fellow board member Joanna Dyer chatted with Stefanie about her work with Waste Management and her interest in reuse.

Stefanie has worked for Waste Management since 2008 in the healthcare segment. Prior to her current role in strategic sales, she worked directly with healthcare facilities to implement environmentally and economically sustainable strategies. One initiative we discussed was the donation and reuse of medical supplies. Although US law makes donation of  unused medical supplies domestically complicated, there is a large need overseas and for emergency or disaster response. Stefanie connected medical institutions with organizations that specialize in the collection and redistribution of unused and unexpired medical surplus and supplies. 

Stefanie has a master’s degree in environmental policy and started her career as an environmental generalist. She moved to New York and worked for the NYC Wa$teMatch program, which facilitates the exchange of used and surplus goods between organizations in New York City that no longer need them. It was at NY Wa$teMatch that she met Harriet Taub and Nicole Tai (RA board members) and MaryEllen Etienne (former RA executive director).

Harriet, Nicole, MaryEllen and Stefanie would get together and brainstorm about how to solve the reuse challenges facing New York City. Local organizations faced similar challenges of transportation, storage capacity, and response time. There was an opportunity for organizations to learn from each other, so they started a local group. Thinking more broadly, they acknowledged that reuse organizations across the country were facing similar challenges and could not only learn from each other, but provide a collective voice for the industry. From these discussions, Reuse Alliance was born. 

Proclaim October 20 as National Reuse Day in Your Community

Do you want to bring more attention to the importance of reuse in your community? If so, work with your elected officials to proclaim October 20 as National Reuse Day! The Reuse Alliance Texas chapter put together this list of actions to get you started.

  • Identify a reuse ally within your city or county government
    • The Texas chapter worked with the City of Austin’s Recycling Economic Development Liaison to have the City of Austin proclaim Oct. 20, 2014, as Austin’s Reuse Day and the start of Reuse Week.
    • This year, they are also working with the Conservation Coordinator at Travis County to make the proclamation at the county level.
  • Host reuse events occurring throughout Reuse Week
    • Work with your Reuse Alliance chapter members or partner with reuse organizations in your area to host events during that week - open houses, sales, parties, etc.
    • Add these events to a local community calendar or promote them on your own.
    • Utilize the networks of partner organizations for cross-promotion.
  • Send out a press release & promote on social media
    • Once your local officials are on board with the proclamation and you have your partners and events lined up, send out press releases to local news media to get the attention you deserve. Check out the City of Austin Press Release from 2014 for more details.
    • Utilize your social media network to get the word out.
  • Develop or Participate in Reuse Day / Reuse Week online campaign
    • The Texas chapter is planning an online campaign that encourages residents to share how they reuse at home, in the office, and/or at school.
    • They are also putting together a “10 ways to reuse” fact sheet to share with online media. Share your ideas with rebecca@austincreativereuse.org
    • #reuseweek2015 #reuse #reuseday2015

If you decide to proclaim October 20 as Reuse Day or proclaim a whole Reuse Week, tell us about it in the comments below.