About Us

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

Mission 

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

Programming

Reuse Institute’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.
  • Other Resources: We also partner with REUSE.International to provide input on a host of other open-sourced programs and services.

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 and 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, and ReuseConex 2014 took place on October 23-25, 2014 in Austin, Texas. To learn more about past ReuseConex events here. The event was originally hosted by Reuse Alliance, but the program moved into its new home at Reuse Institute in 2014.

Leadership

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 CEO of Reuse Institute and a Managing Partner of Reuse Consultants. 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 REUSE.International and is the founder of Reuse Alliance. MaryEllen received her degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz, is on the board of directors of  the Association of Ohio Recyclers; the National Recycling Coalition and SCRAP USA, and is on the advisory board of the US Zero Waste Business Council.