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ISRI honours Mark Reiter with 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award

Reiter has spent close to 30 Years at ISRI advocating for the industry

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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has recognized Mark Reiter as its 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award honouree. Mr. Reiter received the award for his close to three decades of untiring advocacy efforts to advance the scrap recycling industry.

"Having had the pleasure and honor of working beside Mark for his entire ISRI career, I can honestly say that doing right for the membership was always at the top of his mind, and doing it with integrity was always his first priority," said ISRI President Robin Wiener. "Mark absolutely loved working for the recycling industry and was dedicated to advancing the interests of each and every member. What he loved most was using his experience and expertise to help empower individual members to feel comfortable meeting with their local, state, and national representatives. Mark helped create ISRI's original grassroots advocacy network. He would tell members that when meeting with your elected representatives, always remember that you are not a Democrat, you are not a Republican, you are an ISRI-ite! In other words, if you want to do what is best for the industry, you have to put ISRI above party politics."

Politics and the political process defined Mark. He started in politics at age 10, working on sound trucks for various candidates in his hometown of the Bronx, N.Y. He attended Stuyvesant High School and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Temple University. In the years that followed, Mark worked for New York Mayor John Lindsay; he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.); he spent 10 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; then he returned to Capitol Hill as a senior staff member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In 1992 he left government and joined ISRI as manager of legislative and international affairs. As Mark once said, "Being connected to politics keeps my engine going."

Reiter established ISRI's first grassroots advocacy network to provide support for the Superfund Recycling Equity Act, lobbying for it in a decade-long process that culminated in its passage in 1999. The law saved the recycling industry hundreds of millions of dollars and created the precedent for recognizing recycling operations as distinct from disposal operations. Although he was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, Reiter worked across party lines to help ISRI achieve its policy goals.

Reiter served as ISRI's vice president of government relations until his death in January. The Award was presented posthumously during ISRI's 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony on October 21.

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