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  • 2017-01-24 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    ReUSE Minnesota has been getting ready to work at the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show at US Bank Stadium January 27-29. ReUSE Minnesota members Empty the Nest and the University of Minnesota Reuse Center have donated chairs for artists to reimagine for the show’s Upcycle Challenge. Other members, including Better Futures Minnesota, will be at the show managing the Upcycle Challenge auction of the chairs for the benefit of ReUSE Minnesota. Local vintage shop Upsy Daisy created a Prince themed chair for attendees to bid on! 

    This is the first year that remodeling is part of the show's mission and we're excited to promote reuse for major home projects. See below for a blog entry we're reposting from the Better Futures. It describes how “deconstruction" and reuse are better options than demolition and material recycling.

    Across Minnesota, older homes and barns are being demolished to make way for new buildings or farmland. When buildings are demolished, harmful chemicals and pollutants—like lead and asbestos—are released in the air. In addition, when buildings such as old barns are burned, the old-growth wood is not only wasted, but it produces noxious smoke that’s harmful to human and environmental health.

    Recently, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been trying to educate the public about the growing issue of demolishing and burning buildings. The organization suggests that demolished building materials, such as concrete and wood, be turned over to specially permitted facilities for proper disposal.

    Yet a better solution is gaining steam across the country: deconstruction and reuse. Many buildings, especially those built before 1978, contain harmful lead and asbestos. Deconstruction carefully removes all building materials for safe recycling and reuse–greatly reducing the amount of waste in the landfills and avoiding hazardous plumes of lead and asbestos that occur from typical demolition. In addition, deconstruction supports public health by reducing the additional greenhouse-gas emissions that come from adding to the landfill.

    On average, construction and demolition materials account for a quarter of the waste in all landfills. In Minnesota, more than 80 percent of the 1.6 million tons of construction and demolition waste was landfilled in 2013. According to the EPA, for each ton of construction and demolition waste (2,000 pounds) that goes into a landfill, 2.79 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases, including methane and CO2, are released into the atmosphere.

    Through deconstruction with a specially trained crew, as much as 90 percent of of this waste can be recycled or reused, and sold below retail cost in places like Better Futures Minnesota’s ReUse Warehouse.

    Additional tips for reusing building materials during a remodeling project can be found below!

  • 2016-12-16 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The goal of the meet up was to connect reuse and repair businesses around the state.

    Reusing items can reduce pollution, reduce greenhouse gasses, and save energy and water.

    Two businesses connected at Thursday's meeting.

    "When they know someone's got something, they can direct it to the right thrift store outlet, so they can do a lot of cross promotion of their businesses," said Madalyn Cioci, MN Pollution Control Agency.

    ReUse Minnesota does not have another meeting planned for the area.

    Watch the video here

  • 2016-12-09 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    WCCO Mid-Morning - Reusing and repurposing older items is a great way to save money and also be kind to the environment. Joining us now is ReUSE Minnesota Board Vice President Madalyn Cioci (cho-chee) and Board member Della Simpson who's also the CEO of Relan. (3:08) 

    Click here for link to WCCO interview with Madalyn and Della.

  • 2016-12-09 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    By Todd Tanner, board president

    It’s the time of year for giving gifts and, no surprise, ReUSE Minnesota wholeheartedly supports and encourages handmade, upcycled, repurposed, and repaired gifts. Members of our Board recently attended the Green Gifts Fair at Midtown Global Market and were blown away by the number of local artisans who repurpose common items and turn them into something wonderful. We saw bowls made from vinyl records, jewelry derived from almost anything, candles made with old glasses, scrap fabric turned into new clothes, magnets made from bottle caps, and notebooks and journals fashioned from discarded metal. It’s hard not to be inspired by the creativity! At our table, we helped attendees turn old books and greeting cards into gift tags and small notebooks, people seemed to really enjoy the project, and we had a great time interacting with attendees at this bustling and energetic event.

    Those same wonderful consumers also contributed to the health of our environment. How? Purchases at the Green Gifts Fair had a minimal carbon footprint because the items were made locally and the environmental impact of transportation was minimal. Also, many of the items were created from something that otherwise would have been trashed. For example, if someone bought an item made from discarded clothing, they helped avoid the 3-4 pounds of CO2 emissions that occur for every pound of clothing that hits a landfill. And finally, items made from previously used materials extends the useful life of those materials and avoids the additional impact of manufacturing something new.

    As an organization working to raise awareness of the reuse, repair and rental business sector, it’s fantastic to know that so many in our community already share our goals of sustainable living and reducing waste. And, even though the Green Gifts Fair is over, many opportunities remain to purchase environmentally friendly presents, and to be inspired to see gift-giving in a new way and exploring ideas for creating your own gift items by re-purposing things you already have.

    We encourage you to investigate member businesses that specialize in reuse gift items that might be perfect for someone on your shopping list including JunketMr Michaels Recycles BicyclesU of M Reuse CenterA Greener ReadTech DiscountsBetter FuturesArc's Value VillageMagers and Quinn and Strange Boutique.

    We also want to take this opportunity to wish you a healthy, happy, and peaceful holiday season! Thanks for your past and future support of ReUSE Minnesota!

  • 2016-10-13 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    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 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."

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Reuse Minnesota was founded in 2012 and is a member-based nonprofit that supports repair, resale, and rental businesses, bringing visibility to the reuse sector as a means to lower our state's impact on the environment.

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