NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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ReUse Center Closed after 15 years

ReUse Center Closed after 15 years

by Harvey Winje The Reuse Center in Phillips closed on Dec. 11th, held a one week on-line auction, gave away the remains, and was ended by Dec 31st. The Mpls. Reuse Center, which began as the first retail sales store selling reusable building materials in an urban shopping center in the United States, opened at the Hi-Lake Shopping Center on October 15, 1995. An Elder from Little Earth, Gladys Cain, opened the program with a traditional American Indian smudging and blessing followed with remarks by Senator Paul Wellstone, David Morris, city, county and state political representatives, environmental activists and community residents. This event topped off the culmination of 2 years of writing a business plan, fundraising, and conducting a pilot project in local warehouses in Phillips. The ReUse Center did not originate from an idea of a few nor did it come from an entirely environmental perspective. Instead, it arose out of a controversy between Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis versus the Phillips Community about clearing land of 27 homes and 5 businesses where a state of the art, garbage transfer station was to be built costing 10 million dollars. A diverse community of homeowners and renters, seasoned activists and passionate mothers decried that their children were worth more than what a garbage station represented and that together, they would fight to prevent this from occurring. The garbage transfer station was not built in Phillips. In fact, it was not built anywhere. Instead, the community did the research to discover that they could save Hennepin County these many millions of dollars with a relatively simple remodeling to the downtown incinerator to accept the existing garbage trucks to operate efficiently. This organizing effort became the catalyst for The Green Institute. (more…)

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