Green Worker Cooperatives

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= a nonprofit created by South Bronx native Omar Freilla




"Through his organization, Freilla aims to cultivate a whole network of worker-owned green businesses in his hometown, the traditional dumping ground for New York City. The first of these co-ops, ReBuilders Source, began operations last year as a discount retailer of used and surplus building materials. The idea is to provide an alternative to the landfill for some of the 1,900 tons of construction waste that pass through the South Bronx every day.

Freilla seeks not only to cut waste but also to incubate an attitude of self-sufficiency. “I’ve seen a great deal of personal growth among the four members of ReBuilders Source,” he says. “There is something very real and very different about not just being your own boss, but being your own boss together with other people.”

ReBuilders Source is only the beginning of Freilla’s vision, which is to see worker co-ops everywhere in the South Bronx. And other nonprofits are working for the same thing." (


Green Worker Cooperatives is another social justice organization “dedicated to incubating worker-owned and environmentally friendly cooperatives in the South Bronx.” Their website states, “Our approach is a response to high unemployment and decades of environmental racism. We don’t have the luxury to wait for new alternatives. That’s why we’re creating them.” Green Worker Cooperatives offers an aggressive 80 hour coop boot camp, which includes a combination of training, coaching, and technical support like legal incorporation, graphic design, and website development. IDEPSCA, an immigrant and worker rights organization in the Los Angeles area also incubates green worker cooperatives such as Magic Cleaners, a green home cleaning service, and Native Green, a sustainable landscaping service focused on native plants." (

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