Q & A with new Board Member Ben Rose

Q: Tell us a little about your job.
A:  I serve as Director of Operations for NYC Center for Materials Reuse (CMR).  CMR is funded by NYC Dept. of Sanitation to serve as a virtual support center for local (NYC) materials exchanges and reuse programs. The center provides research, reuse community development and (in-kind) donation coordinating services through its two core programs:

  • ReuseNYC,  a non-profit umbrella network of over 25 local materials donation organizations
  • NYC WasteMatch, an online donations platform which connects nonprofit organizations with donations from private sector businesses.

In addition, the center conducts research on materials reuse in partnership with the City College of New York. A result of this research has been the development of the first-of-its-kind Reuse Impact Calculator (or "RIC") system, which allows the center to quantify the social and environmental impact of local materials reuse.

Q:  What previous positions have you had that have led you to where you are today?
A: I would have to say film production. I worked for a number of years as an assistant film director in both the United States and Hungary. I think the nonprofit reuse industry has many moving parts from logistics to fundraising, training to community development, all of which has some parallel to experience I gained in film production.

Q: What is the future of reuse?
A:  Data. I think for the reuse sector to continue to grow we'll need to increasingly find ways to quantify that growth and its local, socio-economic and environmental impact.  I see many organizations doing amazing things, but it's often a struggle to collect data and process that data into convincing cases for local government and donors.  If the reuse sector can provide reliable impact statistics it can be extremely powerful when communicating to governments looking to incentivize waste, energy and greenhouse gas reduction activities.  It also makes it easier for those in government advocate on behalf of the sector.

Q:  Give us one sentence about why you joined the board of Reuse Alliance.
A:  Federations such as Reuse Alliance can provide a tremendous service to local networks, and I'm very much looking forward to participating.