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Minnesota MSW Composition Study

Sorters work through waste samples to find out what Minnesotans are throwing away as garbage

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) retained a project team of Burns & McDonnell, Inc. (lead consultant), MSW Consultants, and GRG Analysis to conduct a statewide waste characterization study to assist the MPCA and local governments with their planning efforts associated with managing municipal solid waste. Data and analysis will be especially useful for identifying opportunities for reducing disposal as "waste" through recycling, composting, and waste prevention.

  • PDF Document Minnesota Statewide Waste Characterization Study (2013) (w-sw1-60)
    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency contracted with a project team led by Burns & McDonnell to conduct a statewide waste characterization study for Minnesota. Data were collected at six waste sites around Minnesota in 2013. (Errata: in the original publication, data were transposed for "Compostable Paper" and "Mixed Recyclable Paper.")
  • PDF Document Presentation - Minnesota Statewide Waste Characterization Study (2013) (w-sw1-61)
    Overview of the statewide waste characterization study in Minnesota. Presentation by Robert Craggs, lead consultant with Burns & McDonnell.

Results of study

Based on sampling at six sites around the state, the data reveal that Minnesota waste has changed over the last 13 years.

Paper, plastics, and organics are still the top three components of our garbage, but the proportions have changed—plastic is up, food is up, but paper is down.

Infographic - Compared to the results of the last study (in 2000), Minnesota's waste has changed


Past research

The last study was conducted in 1999. The report and summary information are posted as an archive: Minnesota MSW Composition Study (1999-2000).

Last modified on October 21, 2014 14:31