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About Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and serves as Senior Staff of the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and counties recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy  through new processing and manufacturing facilities.  Neil also serves on ILSR’s Board of Directors.

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The New York State Senate in session at the Capitol in Albany, New York 9/10/2009. (Michael P. Farrell / Times Union )   Original Filename: MF_0911_SENATE_1_.jpg   IPTC record 115: Albany Times Union
Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jul 11, 2016

Technology Industry Kills Right to Repair Bill in New York State Senate

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/%ef%bb%bftechnology-industry-kills-right-to-repair-bill-in-new-york-state-senate/

If your cell phone or computer has broken down recently, you may have noticed how hard it is to get repaired. Manufacturer repair services (think the Apple Genius Bar) are often so expensive that it makes sense to buy a new product rather than get it repaired. If you want to fix your electronics yourself,… Continue reading

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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jul 6, 2016

Community Forklift: A Blueprint for Reuse Success

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/community-forklift-a-blueprint-for-reuse-success/

Community Forklift, a nonprofit reuse center located just outside Washington, D.C. , in Edmonston, Maryland, is notable for its rapid growth and relative financial success in an industry where profits are often elusive. Specializing in appliances and salvaged building materials, the center was founded in November 2005 with four employees and has since grown to… Continue reading

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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jul 6, 2016

Recent Developments in the World of Mattresses

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/recent-developments-in-the-world-of-mattresses/

ILSR long term working partner Saint Vincent De Paul of Lane County, OR, has added another program to expand its role as refurbisher and recycler of old mattresses through a unique arrangement to distribute mattresses manufactured by Boston based Tempur-Pedic Company to needy families. From 2015 Annual Report of Saint Vincent De Paul, Lane County,… Continue reading

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Article filed under Deconstruction, Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2016

The Repurpose Project– Building Community Through Reuse

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-repurpose-project-building-community-through-reuse/

Old art supplies and materials from deconstructed buildings may be unwanted by traditional thrift stores, but the Repurpose Project of Gainesville, Florida, gladly accepts them. The decision to accept and sell such a wide range of items at this creative reuse center generates a lot of work for employees and volunteers, but benefits the surrounding… Continue reading

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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2016

Reaching for Zero Waste is contagious.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/reaching-for-zero-waste-is-contagious/

The idea of reaching for zero waste is contagious and improves with each new effort to reach 90% or more diversion from landfill and incinerators. The city of Parma, Italy, population 190,000 jumped from 45% recycling in 2012 to just under 75% this year.  Intensive curbside recycling, buttressed by a pay as you throw system… Continue reading

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Article filed under Deconstruction, Waste to Wealth | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 15, 2016

Revolution Recovery – Dealing in All Things Deconstruction

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/revolution-recovery-dealing-in-all-things-deconstruction/

Revolution Recovery of Philadelphia and Delaware deals in all things deconstruction, from dumpster rentals to waste management planning. Founded in 2005 with only two employees, the company is unique because of its hands-on recycling services. Company founder Avi Golen’s entrepreneurial insight was to work directly with companies that take down buildings to segregate different materials… Continue reading

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Article filed under Stop Incineration, Waste to Wealth | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2016

The Future of Garbage in Maryland Is Not What It Used To Be

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-future-of-garbage-in-maryland-is-not-what-it-used-to-be/

A few years ago it looked like Maryland would start to resemble states like Connecticut and Massachusetts that invested heavily in garbage incineration. Baltimore has a downtown incinerator, Harford County wanted to expand theirs, Washington County wanted its own facility, Frederick and Carroll Counties were under contract for building a new 1,500 ton per day plant,… Continue reading

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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2016

Niagara Falls Jumps Ahead in Recycling, Reduces Waste by 20%

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/niagara-falls-jumps-ahead-in-recycling-reduces-waste-by-20/

The city of Niagara Falls, population 50,000, increased recycling efforts through education, public awareness and new enforcement procedures. In nearby Buffalo, NY progress is slower. Niagara Falls had the lowest curbside recycling rate in the region at 4 percent, a 2014 Investigative Post analysis found. Investigative Post analyzed the 2012 garbage and recycling data from… Continue reading

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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2016

Saint Vincent de Paul Continues to Expand Re-Use Partnerships

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/saint-vincent-de-paul-continues-to-expand-re-use-partnerships/

Saint Vincent De Paul of Lane County, OR, continues to increase the number of partnerships with social service organizations across the US, adding 68 new jobs to the Cascade Alliance network of enterprises. Thanks to generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul is helping other nonprofits develop retail thrift stores,… Continue reading

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Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Getting Smart About Waste

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/getting-smart-about-waste/

Technology has a role in moving toward a goal of zero waste, but so does the “soft” infrastructure of citizen activism and effective policies. No matter how smart a city is, however, getting to zero waste isn’t going to be easy. It will take the coordination of many factors, including not only technology but also… Continue reading