University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
http://www.mntap.umn.edu
612.624.1300

Materials Exchange Program - A Business Reuse Network

Recovery and reuse can save money and reduce waste. Consider whether your waste can be reused in your own process or by another organization via the Minnesota Materials Exchange.

The Minnesota Materials Exchange is a website that links organizations that have reusable goods they no longer need to others who can use them. This free reuse network helps prevent usable materials from becoming waste and saves users money. The exchange is open to Minnesota non-profits, institutions, and businesses, including the commercial and manufacturing sectors.


Types of materials listed include:

  • Art supplies
  • Building & construction materials
  • Chemicals & cleaners (unopened)
  • Classroom supplies & fixtures
  • Commercial appliances
  • Computers & office equipment
  • Fixtures and parts
  • Furniture
  • Glass
  • Industrial & agricultural byproducts
  • Medical/laboratory equipment & supplies
  • Metals
  • Motors, pumps, & other electrical equipment
  • Office supplies
  • Paints, coatings, & stains
  • Paper
  • Plastics, rubber, & composites
  • Raw materials
  • Shipping & packaging materials
  • Sporting goods
  • Textiles, fabric, & leather
  • Tools & manufacturing equipment
  • Wood

How to Use

  1. Visit www.mnexchange.org
  2. Sign in or create a free account
  3. List your item or search for items
  4. Connect with other users to arrange exchange

The materials must be business-related. You may charge up to 20% of the current value of the item or material; however, items are often offered for free, especially to non-profit organizations.

Once your item has been exchanged, we ask that you return to the Materials Exchange website to remove the listing and report the exchange. Reporting that your item was exchanged as well as the weight and value of the item helps MnTAP track the impact of this program.

Many users sign up to receive email alerts about new listings on the exchange. You can even select particular categories of materials to be alerted about. To sign up for alerts, sign in to your account, go to the “Alerts” area, and click “Add New Alert.”

Benefits

  • Receive low- or no-cost materials
  • Reduce purchasing and disposal costs
  • Free up storage space
  • Avoid sending items to the landfill/incinerator

Success Stories

  • The City of Bemidji had a large tote with sodium hydroxide that they were not using and did not need. It was listed on the Materials Exchange Web site, as the City was hoping to save on disposal costs. Keystone Automotive in Brainerd found the listing on the Exchange and contacted the City regarding the product. Keystone determined that the chemical could be used to neutralize their plating solutions and drove to Bemidji and pumped the 1,900 gallons into a truck. Both organizations saved money: the city saved on disposal costs and Keystone saved on purchase costs.

  • Hi-Lo Manufacturing was moving its facility and needed to dispose of four totes of waste rubber belts. The company listed them on the Materials Exchange, hoping another company could benefit from the product that would otherwise need to be disposed of in the landfill. An employee at JJV Rubber found the listing online and requested the belts for use in playground and landscape material. JJV Rubber was able to save money and conserve resources. Hi-Lo saved $50 in disposal costs and was able to help another Minnesota manufacturer.

  • The City of Bemidji had a large tote of sodium hydroxide that had not been used in ten years. After listing the chemical on the Materials Exchange, the City was contacted by Keystone Automotive in Brainerd. Keystone traveled to Bemidji and pumped 1,900 gallons of the chemical into a truck and took it back to the facility where the chemical was used to neutralize plating solutions.

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