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NERC in the News

In the Spotlight: Mary Ann Remolador from Vermont Business Materials Exchange

Waste Recovery Report

iWasteNot Systems Resource Newsletter, March 2010

A bit about Mary Ann

I’ve been working at the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) for the last 15 years. I arrived here wanting to make a difference while working on environmental issues. With a background in Natural Resource Economics and International Administration, my first projects were focused on recycling business development issues. Since then, I’ve worked on a variety of recycling, reuse, and green purchasing projects; both research and hands-on implementation with recycling entrepreneurs, business service providers, other businesses, financiers, state governments, municipalities, schools, and non-profit organizations. I also organize and implement a Conference and Workshop each year for the Northeast region and am the Administrator for the Vermont Business Materials Exchange (VBMX).

Waste Recovery Report
Mary Ann Remolador

Life as an exchange administrator

I’ve been the VBMX Administrator for the last year and four months and have really enjoyed it. It’s exciting to see the different items that people are looking to get rid of or are looking for. It’s even more exciting to see how many items get exchanged and knowing that the Exchange has kept valuable materials from being wasted.

Any challenges?

One of the hardest parts to running an Exchange is to make sure people know you exist and to remind them to use the Exchange. Consistently marketing the Exchange takes the most time, but you can see the results almost immediately. You can actually watch the spikes in activity anytime an ad gets printed or you make a presentation at an event.

The other biggest challenge is funding to keep the Exchange going. Since we began working with VBMX, we have been searching for funding sources. We haven’t found the answer yet, but continue to search and discuss possibilities.

Advice for new admins

It’s easy to administer/manage an Exchange—five to ten minutes each day. One or two phone calls or emails from Exchange members each month may take a few more minutes of your time, but it’s a great way to stay in touch with your constituency.

iWasteNot’s platform also makes it easy for administrators to navigate the site, download statistics on exchanges made and web traffic, as well as keeping in touch with members.

Great results!

Since I’ve been administering VBMX:

  • There have been 117 successful exchanges made.
  • Our membership has grown to 806.
  • 519 members have opted to receive daily alerts on new listings.
  • The site averages 90 listings at any given time.