Our Mission

The center’s mission is to support the materials reuse and donations sector of New York City by providing a wide-range of programs and services intended to expand the capacity of reuse organizations and increase public awareness and access to the innovative waste prevention service of materials reuse and donation.


Program History & Overview

Established in 2004, by the NYC Department of Sanitation, the NYC Center for Materials Reuse (CMR) provides a broad range of support services to NYC’s reuse community.

CMR manages the donateNYC Partnership, a division of NYC Department of Sanitation’s donateNYC, which serves as a trade association for New York City nonprofit organizations that accept and distribute donated items, and encourages New Yorkers to “think second-hand first.” Shaped by member organizations themselves, donateNYC’s Partnership network represents a vibrant community of nonprofit organizations that have chosen to come together to expand and promote New York City’s donations sector.

CMR runs the donateNYC Partnership’s workshops, events, annual conference, partner data collection and research. Organizations engaged in materials reuse often have limited means to track and analyze data about their reuse activities—data that can be used internally to understand and improve operations, and externally to demonstrate and promote the economic, environmental, and social benefits of their work.

To address the need for better data tracking, donateNYC, in collaboration with CMR, developed the Reuse Impact Calculator, which uses quantitative information provided by donateNYC Partners to describe the environmental impact of the reuse sector in New York City.



    Reuse is the practice of using an item more than once - frequently this involves a changing of hands (i.e. second-hand). Some items may be used multiple times, by multiple people, over a span of many years. By extending the useful life of items, reuse not only keeps these items out of the waste stream but also conserves the energy and resources required to produce new items. 

    Reduce Reuse Recycle is more than just an easy to remember phrase, it is a hierarchy of priorities outlining the ideal way of achieving a zero-waste goal. Each step represents the easiest and most efficient way of limiting our ecological footprint. First we must reduce our consumption; then reuse what is already available, before finally recycling what remains.

    In 2015, donateNYC Partners accepted over 40 million pounds of donated products and materials. Everything from clothing to construction materials, office supplies, furniture, books, electronics, household goods, and more. The diversion of those items from landfills denotes a reduction in our City’s solid waste footprint, it signifies economic savings for New Yorkers, and represents the social services those donated goods helped provide.

    donateNYC is committed to raising awareness on the importance of reuse beyond its environmental impact. When you donate items to and/or buy items from a donateNYC Partner, you assist local nonprofit organizations with the resources they need to provide crucial community services, including: new jobs, job training, materials for public schools, goods for those in need, after school programs, counseling services, housing assistance, medical support, and MUCH more.

    In 2015, services by donateNYC Partners reached over 1.3 million NYC residents! 

  • Strengthening LOCAL NONPROFITS

    donateNYC supports its partners with networking events, professional development workshops, and promotions to the public of organizational sales, events, and opportunities through the NYC Center for Materials Reuse.

    Connect with donateNYC to learn about: 

    • Sales at Nonprofit Thrift Stores 
    • Where to Donate
    • Services & Goods for Those in Need
    • Events & Activities throughout NYC
    • Job, Volunteer, & Intern Openings

    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at /donateNYC