Minnesota disposes of some if its waste or garbage in landfills. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) regulates the ongoing operations of open landfills as well as the closure and maintenance of closed landfills.
Closed Landfill Program
The MPCA is authorized and mandated under the Landfill Cleanup Act (LCA) to initiate cleanup actions, complete closures, take over long-term operation and maintenance, and reimburse eligible parties for past cleanup costs at up to 112 qualified closed state-permitted landfills throughout Minnesota.
For more information, see Closed Landfill Program page.
Open landfills are regulated by MN Rules 7001 and 7035. They actively accept, under the terms and conditions of a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) permit, certain types of wastes for disposal. They are part of a larger and integrated collection of open solid waste management facilities that process, transfer and receive waste for disposal in Minnesota.
Open landfills fall into several categories, which include: demolition, industrial, mixed municipal and municipal waste combustor ash. See the links below for information about open landfills in Minnesota.
- Minnesota solid waste rules
- Solid waste publications
- Minnesota landfills that accept mixed municipal solid waste
Mixed municipal solid waste means garbage, refuse, and other solid waste from residential, commercial, industrial, and community activities. It does not include auto hulks, street sweepings, ash, construction debris, mining waste, sludges, tree and agricultural wastes, tires, lead acid batteries, motor and vehicle fluids and filters, and other materials collected, processed, and disposed of as separate waste streams.
"Dump" is a common term used by the public that could mean a landfill in either the MPCA open landfill or Closed Landfill Programs, or a landfill in neither program. The MPCA defines "dumps" as those landfills that never held a valid permit from the MPCA. Generally, dumps existed prior to the permitting program established with the creation of the MPCA in 1967.
Minnesota has about 1,800 old dumps (unpermitted mixed municipal solid waste sites). Prior to 1967, people disposed of garbage by dumping it in pits, ravines or wetlands. The MPCA conducted a "dump assessment study" (published in 2001) to get a better understanding of the environmental and economic impacts of old dumps: Dump Assessment Study Dump Assessment Study