ReUSE Minnesota Puts the Spotlight on Reuse, Rental, & Repair

ReUSE Minnesota is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people to the reuse businesses and services they need. ReUSE Minnesota helps reuse businesses grow too, providing an online directory for goods and services and advocating for all the good things that result from reuse: conservation of raw materials, reducing waste and pollution, growing jobs, and saving money (to name a few). All of those things line up nicely with WLSSD’s goals of environmental protection too, so we’re glad to have a statewide organization dedicated to the ideals and nuts-and-bolts of making the concept of “reusing stuff” work for everyone.

WLSSD loves being part of the Twin Ports’ reuse community along with thrift stores, vintage stores, fixit services, and rental shops that thrive on the notion of getting the maximum value out of “stuff”. Our Materials Recovery Center (MRC) Reuse Area fills a special niche in the reuse community. It might be the last stop before the landfill for some items that are not high enough quality for a traditional reuse retail shop, or simply cannot be accepted there.  For some MRC patrons, it’s just more convenient to drop all unwanted items- those destined for disposal and some that could perhaps be reused- at one location. The MRC accepts reusable materials at a reduced rate and then makes those materials available to the public at no charge. MRC Reuse Area visitors can take up to two items per visit after signing a waiver noting the treasures they’ve scored.

White Painted Adirondack Chair

Double Reuse Score: WLSSD’s Product Reuse Center in the Household Hazardous Waste Facility provided Jeff Ames of Duluth with the sweet semi-gloss needed to make this thrifted adirondack chair (and cushion) pop. Love it, Jeff, love it.

The Product Reuse Center at WLSSD’s Household Hazardous Waste facility is another example of making the most of our “waste,” as unwanted but usable products like paints, stains, cleaners and adhesives are free for the taking, too. Getting good stuff and painting it too? What more could you ask for?!

As a WLSSD staffer, the Reuse Programs are a super fun part of the gig; everyone’s happy to get rid of the stuff they don’t want anymore! And on the other side, everyone’s happy to get something they want for free! BAM! We’re making dreams come true here, people.  And on the organizational level, we’re working hard on our mission of landfill abatement, in all its heavy-bulky-kitschy-clunky-boots-on-the-ground-schlepping-stuff-glory.

Now we’re stepping it up another notch to support an organization that works statewide to help build a buzz about reuse. We’ve become members of ReUSE MN and this blog author (Sarah) will be a board member, helping to grow enthusiasm and zest for the reuse lifestyle in Greater Minnesota. Visit the ReUSE Minnesota website to find other area participants, and watch for growth in the coming months!

By Sarah Lerohl, Environmental Program Coordinator