In memoriam: Mark Reiter

Robin Wiener remembers ISRI's vice president of government relations, who died suddenly Jan. 15.

January 16, 2020

Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, sent an email alert out to the association’s members notifying them of the Jan. 15 death of long-time ISRI employee Mark Reiter, who most recently served as vice president of government relations.

Wiener writes that Reiter worked for ISRI for nearly 30 years, despite saying when he first joined the association that he thought he would stay for a few years before moving on to something else. “But he fell in love with the industry and the members, and he literally never left,” she adds.

“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,” Wiener writes. “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.”

Wiener writes that Reiter was proudest of his work to lobby for the passage of the Superfund Recycling Equity Act (SREA) in 1999. “SREA saved the industry hundreds of millions of dollars and created the precedent for recognizing recyclers as distinct from disposal or waste operations. He truly made a difference for the industry,” she writes.

Reiter was defined by politics and the political process, Wiener says, sharing that he once said, “Being connected to politics keeps my engine going.”

She describes him as a “wonderful and dear friend to me and many others on staff, throughout the membership and here in Washington.”

Wiener says that as of Jan. 16, funeral arrangements are pending and that ISRI will set up a tribute page on its website that will be updated with details once they become available.