hen Marian Chertow
’81 M.P.P.M. ’00 Ph.D. arrived in Connecticut in the late 1970s, not a single municipality in the state had curbside recycling as we know it today. Her job was to change that.
Hired out of college by a Connecticut-based startup that was looking to scale up the burgeoning recycling sector, Chertow’s role was to convince mayors and town boards across the state to adopt waste management strategies.
“I had an old fuel-efficient Plymouth Barracuda, and I would drive around trying to find every city hall,” remembers Chertow, now an associate professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). “And I thought, ‘Oh, this is great. I’m actually going to make money by doing good!’”
Within two decades, she says, more residents were recycling on a weekly basis than were voting. And by that time, Chertow was deep into a career as a professor that now takes her to countries across the world to promote strategies in industrial environmental management that she has helped develop.
Last night, she was honored for her longtime commitment to environmental innovation during the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Annual Induction Ceremony
. Chertow, who has become a global authority in the emerging field of industrial symbiosis, was one of ten women recognized for transforming the world through innovation and design.
“This is a well-deserved and timely honor for Marian,” said F&ES Dean Peter Crane
. “Her innovative work and collaborative approach is enhancing the environmental performance of industries across the world, but it is wonderful to see that her accomplishments are also recognized closer to home.”
The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame
is an educational outreach organization that celebrates and honors the achievements of Connecticut women in the hope of inspiring continued achievements by women and girls in the state.
Previous inductees have included Linda Lorimer
, Yale’s Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives; Carolyn Mazure
, founder of Women’s Health Research at Yale; and Florence Wald
, former Dean of the Yale School of Nursing.
arian Chertow came to Yale F&ES in 1990 after spending many years in government, including a stint as president of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. In that role, she helped develop a roughly $1 billion waste infrastructure system for the state. (At the time, the New Haven Advocate
referred to Chertow as the state’s “garbage guru.”) In 1991, she was appointed director of the School’s Industrial Environmental Management Program, and she initiated and led the Corporate Environmental Leadership Seminar, a two-week executive training course.