Welcome to ReuseConex – we hope you enjoy learning more about us!


ReuseConex is the signature event of Reuse International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of reuse – a central tenant of sustainability – through educational events, training services and research projects.


Reuse International’s current programming consists of:

  • ReuseConex, International Reuse Conference & Expo: A biennial in-person training opportunity that brings together reuse industry leaders and other key stakeholders to learn from each other, network and share best practice. To learn more about ReuseConex, please click here.
  • Training for Reuse Industry Leaders & Reuse Advocates (Master Reuser): A webinar-based training program that allows us to support the reuse community in cost-effective, time-efficient, and eco-friendly manner. Click here to learn more.
  • Customized Corporate & Municipal Training: We can create customized reuse training opportunities for your constituent’s needs, delivered in-person or via webinar. Click here to learn more.
  • Resource Library: We curate a collection of reports, articles and other research for the public. Click here to request access.

History of ReuseConex

The story of ReuseConex started in 2009 when MaryEllen Etienne, then a planning committee member for the first National Zero Waste Conference, was invited by Gary Liss of Grassroots Recycling Network (conference chair) to put together a day-long “reuse track” for the event. MaryEllen jumped at the chance and developed a day of programming that that included several breakout sessions and culminated in the 1st National Reuse Summit. With the success of this “reuse track” fresh on her mind, MaryEllen considered the possibility of having a stand-alone reuse conference – and ReuseConex (“Conex” being shorthand for “Conference & Expo”) was born. Just 9 months later the very first ReuseConex took place.

ReuseConex (2010) was a 3-day event held on October 18-20, 2010 in Raleigh, NC, which coincided with the burgeoning “National Reuse Day”. Over 250 attendees packed into the hotel ballroom for that groundbreaking event, which featured a plenary, three concurrent breakout sessions, a reuse expo, a ReFahion Show, A ReArt exhibit, a silent auction, film screenings, and much more. With the success of ReuseConex the attendees clamored for the next one. Soon thereafter it was decided that ReuseConex would be a biennial event, and in an effort to support fellow reuse community member – Building Materials Reuse Association – ReuseConex would run opposite years as BMRA’s DECON event. ReuseConex 2012 took place on October 18-20, 2012 in Portland Oregon, ReuseConex 2014 took place on October 23-25, 2014 in Austin, Texas, and ReuseConex 2016 was held on October 17-19, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about past ReuseConex events here. The event was originally hosted by Reuse Alliance, but the programming moved into its new home at Reuse International in 2014.


MaryEllen Etienne is the Creator and Executive Producer of ReuseConex. MaryEllen has been working in the “wonderful world of reuse” for nearly two decades working to increase awareness of reuse and strengthen the reuse industry. In addition to overseeing ReuseConex, MaryEllen is the President of Reuse International (formerly Reuse Institute). MaryEllen has worked with notable organizations such as London Community Resource Network, NY WasteMatch, Materials for the Arts and ReuseNYC. She is a co-founder the Creative Reuse Association and the founder of Reuse Alliance. MaryEllen received her Bachelors degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz and is working on a Masters in Sustainability Planning & Management from Miami University. She is on the Board President of  the Association of Ohio Recyclers and an at-large board member at the National Recycling Coalition and SCRAP USA.