Maggie Clarke, Ph.D.

Maggie Clarke, Ph.D. is a zero waste consultant at Maggie Clarke Environmental, has been an educator and researcher in environmental science and advocate for zero waste practices for 30 years, and a professional in solid waste management for over 35 years.
Maggie is chair of the National Recycling Coalition’s Committee to advance the NRC clearinghouse / library has been a member of the NRC for 6 years. She was, until this year, Chair of the Air & Waste Management Association’s Sustainability and Resource Conservation Division for many years, and is a Fellow at A&WMA, also having organized and peer reviewed many sessions since the 1980s.
She is chair of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board’s Waste Prevention and Reuse committee, having developed a grant program to advance reuse and repair in New York City which has given grants to over 50 groups in the last 3 years, and chair of its Long Range Solid Waste Planning Committee having led the group in sending comments, letters and testimony to City and State agencies and legislators. She led the SWAB’s waste prevention committee to submit environmental procurement legislation to the City Council in 1995 and 1998. Her doctoral research tested environmental shopping campaigns in Manhattan. Subsequent research in New York City neighborhoods focused on reasons for participation in recycling. She was co-author of Recycle First (1991) and Reaching for Zero (2004), two alternative long-range solid waste plans for New York City. She served as impetus for and testified on behalf of a bill to eliminate 2200 apartment building incinerators in New York City (passed in 1989) and co-authored the National Academy of Science’s report Waste Incineration and Public Health (2000). She testified at numerous hearings on waste management and environmental / health effects of the World Trade Center disaster, and co-authored a journal article:‘Gold Standard’ for Remediation of WTC Contamination.
Maggie taught environmental science and policy and related topics at four of the CUNY colleges and 3 Rutgers colleges as adjunct professor in earth and environmental sciences, and has authored numerous articles and conducted research in various aspects of zero waste, including understanding and increasing recycling participation and measuring impacts of zero waste on climate change. She was an instructor of advanced education and outreach for the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania’s certification program for municipal recycling officials. A number of her publications are available on her website:
She has many years of experience in environmental research, policy analysis, and planning, focusing in waste prevention and recycling. founding and as past co-chair of the New York City Waste Prevention Coalition, head of the solid waste research program at INFORM, an environmental scientist for the NYC Department of Sanitation.
She is Co-chair of the National Recycling Coalition’s Disaster Debris mitigation task force and has been on the legislative committee of the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling since the 1990s. She was chair of the Manhattan solid waste advisory board (1992-3), and was on the Citywide Recycling Advisory Board’s steering committee for many years.
She holds a Ph.D. in earth and environmental sciences, a M.A. in environmental science and policy and a M.S. in energy technology. She is founder and president of the Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden since 1984.
Specialties: zero waste, municipal solid waste prevention, reuse and recycling programs, technologies, incentives and legislation, zero waste planning, environmental purchasing, and recycling behavior.

Zero Waste New York
Zero Waste Researcher