Saint Paul, Minn. – On Wednesday night a few hundred people gathered at Lake Monster Brewing in Saint Paul to toast the completion of a three-year website project in support of Minnesota’s $10 billion reuse economy.
The new site at reusemn.org is an online resource for Minnesota consumers looking for secondhand goods or rental and repair services. It’s also a hub for businesses in these sectors.
The nonprofit trade organization ReUSE Minnesota led development of the website, which is the only one of its kind in the country.
“Minnesota is a national leader in its support of our reuse economy and the investment in this project is a great example that commitment,” notes ReUSE Minnesota Board President Todd Tanner.
The site was developed with a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
“Guiding people toward a mindset of reuse, rental or repair before buying something new is part of reducing waste overall,” says Madalyn Cioci of the MPCA. “We have to meet people where they are and make those choices convenient and that’s what the website does."
Minneapolis web development firm Spyder Trap worked on the project, which involved a complex back end platform that could provide an easy experience for users.
“We needed to create a responsive site that could handle images and meet the needs of consumers and of large and small businesses across Minnesota," says Ryan Beckman Director of Client Strategy for Spyder Trap.
In addition to serving as a business directory, the state-of-the art site allows businesses to become members of ReUSE Minnesota and enhance their listings with images and custom text.
The reuse economy in Minnesota spans a variety of businesses types, from local repair stores, to salvage yards, to thrift stores, to tech companies that sell refurbished IT equipment around the world.
“Our members are diverse and all work to derive the most values from resources," says Tanner, “With the site up, we’re ready to increase our membership and continue to help the reuse economy grow in Minnesota."