2007-08 Solid Waste Policy Report2007 Solid Waste Policy Report
Since the Waste Management Act was enacted in 1980, the state has seen the development of a robust and integrated system for solid waste management, with well-managed facilities for recycling, energy generation, and disposal.
But progress with waste management methods on the upper end of the waste management hierarchy has stalled since 2000: the statewide recycling rate has plateaued, organics diversion has yet to meet its potential, and waste-to-energy percentages have dropped. The result is that landfilling of Minnesota waste has increased significantly.
Meanwhile, concerns about climate change and energy constraints have grown. During the 2007 session, the Governor and Legislature, with broad support from Minnesotans, laid out the need for more renewable energy and for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These issues pose challenges as well as opportunities for our economy.
Focusing the 2007 report. Building on this consensus, the MPCA chose to focus the 2007 Solid Waste Policy Report on renewable energy, energy conservation, and the need for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. From June 2007 through February 2008 the agency worked with a broad array of stakeholders across the state to discuss and review policy options that would reduce the amount of solid waste generated in Minnesota and then improve waste management to recover more resources from the material that remains. Meanwhile the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group offered suggestions on how to improve waste management to assist in meeting state greenhouse-gas reduction goals through 2025.
The report contains the MPCA's policy and process recommendations to the Legislature.