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Minnesota's waste is on path to increase 19% in 20 years

State agencies have 70 different ideas together in a draft plan to address the growing concern around Twin Cities waste.

MINNEAPOLIS — There is a growing garbage concern in the Twin Cities after 3.3 million tons of waste were recorded in 2021. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has drafted a 20-year plan to help reduce waste across the metro. 

“To protect our air, land, and water, we must do more to meet our waste reduction, recycling, and composting goals,” said Kirk Koudelka, MPCA assistant commissioner for land policy and strategic initiatives.

MPCA said waste in the Twin Cities is expected to grow 19% by 2042.

"Recycling, composting is our last line of defense against landfills," Koudelka said. 

Some Metro Solid Waste Policy Plan ideas:

  • Collecting recycling weekly in all seven metro counties by 2025.
  • Collecting recyclables, organics, and trash on the same day.
  • Making residential curbside composting collection available in cities with a population greater than 5,000.
  • Providing grants to businesses and organizations for software to track food waste.
  • Adopting an ordinance with a mandatory consumer charge for take-out single-use cups, containers, and utensils.
  • Improving recycling data collection at businesses.

The MPCA is asking for public feedback on the various ideas in the plan through August.

Formal public meetings on the plan have been scheduled for July 11, in addition to community presentations in each of the seven metro counties throughout the summer. 

Once the plan is finalized, the MPCA will work with local governments and businesses to implement the recommendations to reduce the amount of trash. 

The agency's goal is to achieve a 75% recycling rate by 2030.


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