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ESF’s Mark Lichtenstein Honored Lifetime Achievement Award by National Recycling Coalition


Mark Lichtenstein, executive operating officer for the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Recycling Coalition.

Lichtenstein has nearly 40 years of experience with sustainability and environmental stewardship. He served eight terms as president and CEO of the National Recycling Coalition.

"Mark is a leader not only in ESF's sustainability efforts but also on the national and international stages," said ESF President Joanie Mahoney. "Reducing waste and facilitating recycling are key components to a sustainable future as we navigate the challenges of climate change. Mark has been at the forefront of these efforts, developing new initiatives and educating others about this important work. We congratulate Mark on this well-deserved honor and appreciate his leadership with the College's sustainability efforts."

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on the promotion and enhancement of recycling in the United States. The award is presented to one person annually and is one of the most respected awards in the field.

At ESF, Lichtenstein has helped champion several new sustainability initiatives and programs including entering a partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish the New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management based at ESF.

ESF also instituted a campus-wide composting system; standardized its trash, recycling and compost bins; and swapped traditional 10-gallon office trash bins for 1.15-gallon liner-less mini-bins at its Syracuse campus. This effort has resulted in a decrease of the College's trash weight while increasing its recycling.

"I am honored to receive this recognition," said Lichtenstein. "The pursuit of environmental sustainability is a team effort and I am fortunate to have a career working with dedicated environmental professionals focused on creating a sustainable future."

Before ESF, Lichtenstein was executive director of the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions and Environmental Finance Center. He co-founded and facilitated the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Recycling Partnerships and was an active member and co-facilitator of the Vieques Sustainability Task Force (a strategy of the White House Task Force on Puerto Rico).

In addition to his roles at ESF, Lichtenstein is a faculty associate in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at Syracuse's Maxwell School. He has been engaged with sustainability efforts throughout the United States, and in Belize, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Mexico. He served as an expert witness to the Federal Environmental Finance Advisory Board.

Lichtenstein has a Master of Arts in Public Administration, and a Graduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in Conflict Resolution, both from the Maxwell School, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from ESF. He has certified mediator training, is an experienced interest-based negotiator and process facilitator, and is a certified public participation specialist.