Research

Data Management Project

New York City is home to over eighty nonprofit organizations (totaling hundreds of individual locations) which accept and redistribute unwanted, yet usable, second-hand and surplus goods. Reusable resources like computers, bicycles, building materials, industrial discards, office furniture, and textiles are donated to nonprofits and then distributed to those in need or sold at retail outlets to support a nonprofit organization’s mission. These types of services stop waste from being generated, provide goods to the public for free or reduced cost, and result in resource and energy conservation by preventing the need for the production of new goods.

Nonprofit reuse organizations are leaders in the green economy and contribute greatly to the goal of sustainable urban life by merging sound business practices with environmental and social responsibility. However, organizations have very limited means to track and analyze the vital data demonstrating their contributions through product and materials reuse. The type of data that can be used internally to better understand ones operations, or externally to market an organizations economic, environmental, and social impact to potential donors and funders. To address this need the NYC Center for Materials Reuse began development and implementation of the NYC Nonprofit Reuse Sector Data Management Project (DMP).

DMP staff developed a data management system that uses qualitative and quantitative information, provided by donateNYC Partners, to analytically describe the environmental, social, and economic impact of the nonprofit reuse sector in New York City; both for individual member organizations and donateNYC Partners as a whole.

In 2015, Data Management Project participants diverted approximately 40 million pounds of reusable materials from landfills. That is the equivalent of keping 13,280 cars off the road each year!