1) Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)
Title: The Surplus Exchange’s Reuse Marketing and Education
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project is Surplus Exchanges’ continued response to the dilemma of how to keep
up with the increasing amounts of business equipment headed for the dumpster,
while minimizing collection and processing fees, and benefiting the community as
well. As with all our environmental
programs, our goal is to decrease the amounts of solid waste headed for the
landfill while practicing “good business”.
Our 1998 MARC project, The Business Equipment Reuse Project, has
successfully shown how our organization can “teach’ area businesses to
become “reusers” of their own equipment, resulting in the diversion of these
materials from the waste stream in a cost effective manner.
project, like the 1998 Business Equipment Reuse Project, will continue to focus
on reduction through reuse marketing and education, and the teaching of specific
reuse strategies, but, will be much larger in scale and expand the targeted
audience to include all district governments, businesses and organizations.
and distribution of Kansas City Metropolitan Area Reuse Guide.
This printed and on-line guide will include referrals to, and
descriptions of existing reuse programs, informing the user of sources for
specific types of product reuse; description of reuse strategies; calendar of
reuse workshops, and other general reuse information.
2. Reuse awareness building, and
partnership development with municipal governments.
I is our objective to further increase the awareness of reuse
within our community by partnering with municipal waste reduction decision
makers. This component is based on
similar successful programs in Indiana, New York, and California, which
how they can add reuse components to their existing municipal, county, and solid
waste district programs.
Many local jurisdictions, are not aware of how they can increase
reuse as part of their comprehensive waste reduction efforts.
As a result, they miss out on the many benefits reuse can offer,
including increased economic development and reduced waste disposal. Adding
reuse programs to every local and regional solid waste and recycling program
will greatly assist the state toward meeting its waste reduction goal, with the
added benefit of helping communities meet the needs of its low-income or
otherwise disadvantaged constituents.
to be included in this initial education and marketing phase to municipalities:
Benefits of increased community reuse;
increasing reuse and through existing waste reduction programs;
Identifying existing reuse efforts and businesses within the community;
How to avoid “reinventing the wheel”.
3. Reuse awareness
building with client oriented nonprofit and community organizations.
As described earlier, for Surplus Exchange, reuse is more than just
keeping “stuff” out of the landfill. Reuse as a practice is also a means to
increase the material, educational and occupational wellbeing of our citizens by
taking useful products discarded by those who don’t want them and providing
them to those who do. Surplus
Exchange has gained national attention for its local efforts of combining reuse
with community educational and occupational programs.
Most notable are the Learn & Earn Computer Education Program, and the
Helping Hand of Goodwill Job Training Program.
Learn & Earn, in a 20 hour curriculum based course, teaches
youth who otherwise would not have access to a computer and training, how to
build a computer (using components from older computers) which upon completion
of the course, they get to keep. In just two years, over 250 youth participants
have successfully completed the Learn & Earn course. The Helping Hand of
Goodwill Job Training Program provides Goodwill consumers with on the job
training and assessment. The
participants spend 10 to 40 hours on site at Surplus Exchange learning material
handling, office or technical skills. Over 400 Goodwill consumers have completed
Both of these programs clearly demonstrate how reuse
can keep obsolete equipment from entering the local waste stream, and provide
educational and occupational benefits to our community’s constituents .
This project will allow us to expand, and provide these opportunities to
other nonprofit and community organizations. It is our intent to develop four
additional major educational and/or occupational programs with community
of existing partnerships, such as Bridging the Gap’s Environmental Excellence Program, EPA, and MARC, for the purpose of developing and marketing
reuse awareness, and creating reuse opportunities.
5. As part of America
Recycles Day, Surplus Exchange will develop and promote
Second Chance Week: a week of activities promoting reuse as a
means to reduce waste by finding second (third, fourth, fifth) lives for
materials and equipment. The goal
of Second Change Week is to decrease the amounts of materials headed for the
landfill by increasing the amount of all
used materials – such as clothing, furniture, appliances, computers and
building supplies – that are given a “second chance” through the
practice of reuse.
There are also many other goals of Second Chance Week, such as
increasing the number of useful donations to non-profits, charities and schools
as well as providing bargain hunters, thrift store shoppers, reusers and
recyclers more opportunities to purchase inexpensive reusable items. It is not
our intent to reinvent the wheel, we will model our Second Chance Week
after the very successful California and Indiana programs.