2020 Annual Report
2020 was an incredibly difficult year for many in the reuse, rental, and repair community. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced many Reuse Minnesota members to close their stores and adjust their operations, it also advanced the urgency to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild American supply chains. As our state reopens again, Reuse Minnesota is supporting businesses and organizations to embrace a circular, regenerative supply chain, where producers and consumers look first to reuse before purchasing and consuming new products.
This past year was also a time of grieving for our community: Reuse Minnesota is based in the Twin Cities, and a number of our members are located in South Minneapolis near the 38th and Chicago intersection where George Floyd was killed by the police. In the wake of the unrest that followed and demand for accountability and change, many local businesses boarded up their storefronts.
As businesses started reopening and taking down plywood from windows across the metro, Reuse Minnesota wanted to minimize unnecessary disposal and encourage reuse of the boards in the community. We created the Twin Cities Plywood Rescue, and over the course of the summer, we coordinated volunteers to collect and transport hundreds of sheets of used plywood for reuse, connecting with local Black-led organizations to preserve any boards with writings or artwork.
At Reuse Minnesota, we recognize the path to restorative justice includes eliminating environmental destruction and our dependence on single-use practices. Waste incinerators, petrochemical plants, and many more polluting facilities are disproportionately located near and actively harm already marginalized communities.
We stood, and continue to stand, with our neighbors advocating for systems change and pursuing justice for George Floyd.
As Sam Grant, director of MN350 said at our 2020 conference, “the same system that creates throwaway products creates throwaway places and peoples.” Waste justice is closely linked to racial justice, and as we reopen and recover from the traumas of COVID-19, we will focus on creating a circular economy that actively breaks down structural inequalities.
Jenny Kedward, Board President