ST. PAUL (AP) -- Need a 30-foot bridge, an unused barn, a ton of packing peanuts or 32,000 pounds of jelly?
Then sign on to the Minnesota Materials Exchange Program, an online network that matches business, cities, counties, schools and nonprofit organizations with people who can use their surplus equipment and supplies.
It's the enterprising businessman's answer to secondhand clothing shops and used bookstores.
The idea is to use again rather than throw away, said Mick Jost, who oversees the exchange, operated by the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program, which falls under the state Office of Environmental Assistance.
The program isn't new -- it began in 1995 -- but it recently went online and has started catching on.
Take the Minnesota food manufacturer saddled with 32,000 pounds of jelly packed in 50-pound bags when it halted production of a jelly dessert. The jelly made a farmer and his hogs very happy.
In another exchange, a creative entrepreneur turned 235 plastic buckets from a state laundry into buoys.
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