Accessing technology, information, and expertise

In addition to the assistance available from MPCA's market development staff, many other resources are available online.

Using recycled feedstock

Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) |
AURI is a nonprofit corporation working to enhance Minnesota's economy through the development of new uses and new markets for the state's agricultural products. They provide many types of assistance, including feasibility analysis, technical support, and grant funds to qualified applicants.

Clean Washington Center (CWC) |
Over 90 publications are available on this website that may help recyclers, reclaimers, manufacturers, and service providers develop new recycled content products and markets. CWC's technical publications include recycling best practices for glass, wood, rubber, and plastics, along with project reports covering processing and manufacturing issues, product performance, and strategies for overcoming business and regulatory barriers to recycling.

Composite Materials Technology Center (COMTEC) |
COMTEC is operated through Winona State University's Composite Materials Engineering (CME) Program. COMTEC utilizes the facilities, equipment, and expertise resident in the CME Program to provide services to industry, such as design and analysis, material characterization, testing, and prototype manufacturing; workshops on topics of interest to industry; and customized training designed to satisfy the specific needs of industry customers.

Forest Products Laboratory (U.S. Forest Service) |
The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory conducts research on expanded and diverse aspects of wood use, including pulp and paper products and recycling. Check here for new paper recycling technologies.

Minnesota Inventors Congress (MIC) |
MIC provides tools for product inventors of all types. Some examples are the an inventor's notebook and checklist, for keeping track of your invention from conception to product distribution and a guide for determining the market feasibility of your invention. The site also provides many helpful links to important entrepreneurial resources.

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) |
MnTAP, funded by the MPCA, helps Minnesota businesses implement industry-tailored solutions that maximize resource efficiency, prevent pollution and reduce costs.

Trade Association Directory (Recycler's World) |
A list of recycling trade associations and links to their web sites. Many trade associations provide technical and financial assistance for their members, as well as conference opportunities and achievement awards.

Sourcing recycled materials

Minnesota Recycling Markets Directory
This directory helps Minnesota businesses and recyclers find companies that collect or accept recyclable materials. This directory also helps brokers, processors and manufacturers identify sources of recycled feedstocks that can be used to make new products containing recycled materials.

Minnesota Materials Exchange |
The Minnesota Materials Exchange connects businesses who have reusable goods to those who can use them. This is a free service operated in Minnesota by MnTAP.

Minnesota County Solid Waste Administrators
Contact your county solid waste office for information about recycling programs in your community, materials they can supply, and for general technical assistance.

Southeast Minnesota Recyclers Exchange (SEMREX) |
SEMREX is an established Cooperative Marketing Group for recyclable materials, representing recyclers in 10 southeastern Minnesota counties.

Selling recycled products

How to develop markets
This informational guide discusses one of the most important sections of your business plan, which will demonstrate that the product being developed has a substantial market in a particular industry and can achieve sales in the face of competition.

Minnesota Recycled Products Directory
A searchable directory of manufacturers and their recycled-content products made in Minnesota.

Selling Environmental Products to the Federal Government |
An instructional guide to selling your product to the largest purchaser of goods and services in the United States.

FTC Guidelines for Labeling Recycled Products |
This publication provides the FTC's view of the legal requirements for environmental marketing, including claims of recyclability and recycled content.

General business development resources

Environmental Initiative |
The Environmental Initiative is a member-supported nonprofit organization that brings together representatives from environmental organizations, businesses, community groups and government agencies to find innovative ways to produce environmental improvements that are both immediate and long-lasting. Such partnerships take the form of collaborative forums, seminars and ongoing working groups.

HTML icon Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

This site offers many alternatives in acquiring capital for start-up, expanding or relocating in Minnesota. DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency.

HTML icon Partner: Minnesota Small Business Development Centers

This statewide network provides the professional expertise and guidance that every small business owner needs to flourish in today's competitive and ever-changing business world.

HTML icon Resource: Enterprise Minnesota

Through a number of business services, Enterprise Minnesota helps companies create more effective manufacturing processes, improve communications, increase efficiency, expand market opportunities, and develop corporate growth strategies. The organization also links Minnesota companies with federal laboratories and researchers at higher-education institutions.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) |
The SCORE association is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. SCORE provides small business mentoring and advice on the full range of business topics.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office |
Everything you wanted to know about obtaining a patent for your product. You can even file a patent application electronically.

Financing and access to capital

Purchase of capital equipment for processing recycling materials may be exempt from sales tax. For additional information, consult the Minnesota Department of Revenue:

Minnesota Sales Tax Exemption for Qualifying Equipment Purchased for Use in Processing Solid or Hazardous Waste at a Resource Recovery Facility: