Green Worker Cooperatives

Award Recipients - 2005

Omar Freilla, Founder


Green Worker Cooperatives (GWC) is an environmental justice organization established in 2003.  Its mission is to foster environmental and economic justice by developing worker-owned and environmentally friendly businesses in the South Bronx. GWC aims to organize low-income residents into worker cooperatives and provide the necessary training and assistance needed to launch business.  The goal is to nurture the growth of cooperatives that reduce exiting pollution levels such as those that can reuse materials and keep them out of waste transfer stations, landfills and incinerators.  GWC envisions local economic development based on the principal that, people must find new ways to earn a living that do not require polluting the earth or exploiting human labor.

GWC’s first initiative is developing a building materials reuse center in the South Bronx to sell low-cost used buildings materials and appliances.  In a related project, GWC, as a member of a broad coalition, is calling for the creation of a Bronx recycling industrial Park as an alternative to a proposed power plant.  It would house multiple enterprises capable of utilizing materials recovered from the local waste stream, serve as a model of green design, pollution prevention and alternative energy while providing public space and waterfront access.  GWC’ work with the other environmental groups is advancing innovative, ecologically-sound practices in the city.

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