Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directed its Waste to Wealth Initiative until his retirement in July 2022.

Over his many years at ILSR, Dr. Seldman provided technical assistance to cities, community groups and businesses in the field of sustainable resource management. He pioneered developments in processing, building deconstruction and small scale manufacturing from recycled materials. Dr. Seldman also chronicled the US recycling movement over the last 50 years in “History of the US Recycling Movement, Encyclopedia of Technology Energy and Environment” and “Wasting in the US 2000.” He has also documented worldwide recycling developments for the World Bank in “Recycling from municipal refuse: a state-of-the-art review and annotated bibliography.”

He is a founding member of the National Recycling Coalition at the First National Recycling Congress and the Grass Roots Recycling Network. According to Robin Cannon, Concerned Citizens of South Los Angeles, Dr. Seldman is known as grassroots organizer who, “shows communities how to fight against and how to fight for the sustainable solution to solid waste and economic problems.” In recent years he has worked in Atlanta, Cleveland, Alachua County (Gainesville), FL, Reading, PA, Washington, DC, Bridgeport, CT, Austin, TX and Los Angeles. Dr. Seldman writes regularly for trade journals providing insight and criticism of poorly designed technologies and programs.

Dr. Seldman was a manufacturer in New York City and a university lecturer in political science before co-founding the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.