Welcome to the
Montana Materials Exchange

A Free Bulletin Board Service Provided by the
MSU Extension Service Pollution Prevention Program

How To Use MME

The MME website is designed to be quick and easy to use. To search our database of "wanted" and "available" listings, just click on "Search Listings". To create a listing, just click on "Create Listings". Both features include simple, straightforward instructions. For more detailed information about MME, please scroll down through the following answers to frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, you can contact the MME Administrator at the phone number or e-mail address posted at the bottom of every page on this website.

What are the benefits of using a material exchange? [next]

  • Obtain valuable materials and feedstock for little or no cost rather than buying new materials.
  • Reduce transportation and disposal costs.
  • Discover reuse markets for materials normally discarded.
  • Profit from sales of materials that otherwise would be considered waste.
  • Reduce demand on natural resources.

And you may discover unexpected benefits even if you don't make a successful exchange. A recent user e-mailed us, "The material was disposed via means other than MME, however, the inquiries generated by the listing on MME have generated a valuable list of resources for future opportunities."

Who can use MME? [next]

Businesses, industries, farms and ranches, government agencies, schools, congregations, and other organizations and institutions can all save resources and money by using the MME. The MME is not intended for use by individuals. However, individuals are free to contact any of the parties that have posted "wanted" or "available" listings.

Can I use MME if I'm not from Montana? [next]

Yes! The online listing forms and search features are designed to accommodate listings from other states and other countries. Just leave Montana-specific fields (such as the "County" field) blank. The "State" field on the registration form can be set to blank by scrolling up in the pulldown menu. To find a directory of material exchanges throughout North America, go to our Helpful Links page.

Does it cost anything to use the MME? [next]

MME is a not-for-profit bulletin board service. Listings are FREE, no finder's or subscription fees are charged.

How do I find listings for materials I could use? [next]

The MME website features a searchable database of wanted and available listings. There are a variety of search options on the "Search Listings" page.

  • To view all current listings just scroll to the bottom of the form without changing any of the fields and click the "Search Listings" link at the bottom of the form. To focus your search, change one or more of the fields. All fields are optional.
  • You can type any word (For example: "lumber") into the Keyword search field and MME will pull up all listings containing that word in the material name or material description. If you enter more than one word in the keyword field (for example: "dimensional lumber"), the database will only display exact matches (listings for "dimensional lumber" will be displayed, but listings for "lumber" will not).
  • You can specify that you want to view only wanted or available listings or both.
  • You can search by material type category (construction, agricultural, solvents, etc.)
  • You can also conduct geographical searches (City, County, Region, State/Country). The dropdown lists only display cities, counties and states/countries for which there are current listings. More specific locations will supercede broader geographic areas. For example, if you select both "Montana" and "Billings", only listings in Billings will be displayed.
  • You can refine your search using different combinations of fields. For example, you might select "Wanted", "Construction Materials" and "Billings".
  • If you visit our site often, you can click on "View New Listings" to view only listings that have been posted in the last 30 days. If you don't visit often, we recommend not limiting your search to a time period, because most listings are with us for a while.

All records that match your search criteria will be displayed as a abbreviated list. To view all the details of any particular listing, just click "view details" to get the "Listing Details" page. Depending on how much information the listing party provided when they created the listing, this page should includes a description of the wanted or available material, the location and contact information for the listing party, and usually many other details such as cost, packaging and delivery information.

How do I create a listing? [next]

Just click on "Create Listings". If you are a new user, you will need to register your contact information before you login.

Once you have registered as a user, login with your first and last names and telephone number. Then just fill out the "Material Listing" form. If certain fields are not relevant to the listing you are submitting just leave them blank. There are only five mandatory fields (marked with a green checkbox symbol). At the bottom of the form you can specify that an available material is free to schools, charities or government agencies. You can also specify that availability of a material is restricted to qualified parties only.

The MME Administrator reviews all listings to ensure that they are acceptable.

What is MME's policy on acceptable and unacceptable listings? [next]

Please review the Guidelines page.

Why are users required to register? [next]

If you are a new user, the first time you click on "Create Listings" you will be asked to register your contact information. MME remembers this information so that you don't have to re-enter it every time you create a new listing. Registering also allows both you and the MME Administrator to easily keep track of all of your listings.

All information you provide on the "Registration" form EXCEPT FOR YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS will be available to MME users so that they can easily contact you, and so that they can easily find your listing if they are searching by city, county, region or state/country. Your e-mail address will never be displayed on the MME website. You can designate any listing as confidential, in which case your contact information will only be available to the MME administrator.

Once you have registered, any time you go to the MME website and click on "Create Listings", "View Your Listings", or "Edit Your Registration" you will first be asked to login with your first and last names and telephone number.

How do confidential listings work? [next]

If a user checks "Confidential" in the second field of the "Material Listing" form, their contact information for that listing will only be available to the MME Administrator.

When a user clicks "View Details" for a confidential listing they will be able to see the city, county, and state/country where the material is located, however no contact information will appear. They can either call or email the MME Administrator, who can pass their enquiry on to the listing party, or they can click on the "Click here to email…" link at the bottom of the screen. This link generates a form that can be used to e-mail the listing party, however the listing party's email address is not displayed.

How do I change or delete one of my listings? [next]

Just click "View Your Listing". From this screen you will have the option to edit or delete each of your listings. For your security, whenever you make changes to a listing, or request to delete a listing, an email message is automatically generated to the email address you entered in the "Registration" form. This email will include information about your listing, followed by a web link that you must click to confirm the changes you requested.

If you have completed a successful exchange, please fill out the User Survey. In order to ensure continued funding for this free service, it is critical for MME staff to document successful exchanges.

How do I change my contact information or remove myself from the MME database? [next]

To change your contact information, just click on "View Your Listings" to get to your personal "Current Listings" page. Above the table with your listings there will be a link that you can click to change your contact information. Any changes you make will be automatic, unless you change your email address. Changes to your email address will not take effect until the MME Administrator contacts you to confirm the change.

To be removed from the MME database, just call or e-mail the MME Administrator.

How long will my listings stay up on the site? [next]

The MME Administrator tries to contact the listing party if no changes have been made to a listing after six months. Failure to respond will result in the listing being removed. The MME Administrator has very limited time available for maintaining this site, so please update your listings or contact the administrator whenever their status changes.

How should I respond to inquiries about my listings?[next]

Once you have placed a listing, PLEASE RESPOND TO ALL INQUIRIES, even if only to say that you are not interested. The MME will only work if listing parties are responsive. If complaints are received that you are not returning phone calls and emails, and the problem is not resolved in a timely manner, your listing(s) will be removed.

If the phone number in your listing is on an answering machine or voice mail system, please be sure your full name, and/or business name, as stated in your listing, is mentioned on your outgoing message. Otherwise, respondents have no way of knowing if they have reached the right party.

How do I respond to a listing? [next]

Unless a listing is confidential, contact information for the listing party will be displayed at the bottom of the "Listing Details" screen. If you are interested in a particular listing, simply call or e-mail the listing party.

If there is no contact information at the bottom of the "Listing Details" screen, you can either call or email the MME Administrator, who can pass your inquiry on to the listing party, or you can click on the "Click here to email…" link at the bottom of the screen. This link generates a form that you can use to e-mail the listing party.

Actual transactions and arrangements, such as price, transportation costs, and handling are the sole responsibility of the exchange participants. If a listing party does not respond to your inquiry, PLEASE CONTACT THE MME ADMINISTRATOR.

Why is it important for MME to know when I have made a successful exchange? [next]

In order to ensure continued funding for this free service, it is critical for MME staff to document successful exchanges. If you make a successful exchange through the MME, please fill out the User Survey.

Does MME act as a broker for exchanges materials listed on the website? [next]

NO. MME is purely a bulletin board service. Actual transactions and arrangements, such as price, transportation costs, and handling are the sole responsibility of the exchange participants. MME staff do not take possession or handle materials or money under any circumstances.

Is the MME mailing list ever released for commercial use? [next]

NO. Our customer's information is never released for commercial purposes.

Does MME publish a printed catalogue of listings? [top]

The MME is not currently set up to generate a hard copy catalogue of listings. We hope to add this feature in the future.

If you have any problems or questions please e-mail the MME Administrator, Barb Allen, at: blallen@montana.edu