Minnesota rules allow for specific uses (called beneficial uses) of certain materials that otherwise would be classified as solid waste. Businesses, counties, municipalities, and other organizations that want to divert large amounts of waste to a new use – such as shredded tires being used in road construction projects – must comply with these rules.

The MPCA must approve beneficial use requests and ensure that the materials are used in ways that won't harm the environment or human health. The beneficial use of solid waste keeps materials out of landfills and reduces the amount of raw materials used in construction and other industries. It can also generate profits for participating organizations and reduce their disposal costs.

Standing beneficial use determinations (SBUD)

Minnesota rules identify 16 standing beneficial uses that match particular materials with specific uses. Waste generators and end users taking advantage of an SBUD can simply follow the applicable rules without contacting the MPCA. Only those specific solid wastes and the uses designated in the rule have this status.

Case-specific beneficial use determinations (CSBUD)

Organizations that want to reuse materials in ways not classified as standing beneficial uses must apply to the MPCA for a case-specific beneficial use determination. Beneficial uses must meet several criteria:

  • Solid waste must not be stored in anticipation of speculative future markets
  • Solid waste must be adequately characterized
  • Solid waste must be an effective substitute for an analogous material or a necessary ingredient in a new product
  • Use of the solid waste will not harm human health or the environment
  • Solid waste must not be used in quantities that exceed accepted engineering or commercial standards.

CSBUD proposals must provide detailed information about the composition of the waste, your agreements with the end user, the proposed use, any environmental risks, and more. The required information is shown on the checklist. Unless specified by the agency, all CSBUD proposals must include both the checklist and application forms:

Demonstration/research projects (DRP)

The program allows for exploring a potential beneficial use, or new methods of solid waste management, through a limited-scale demonstration/research project. For example, a DRP may evaluate a waste material for a particular beneficial use, new landfill designs, or solid waste management technologies.

DRP proposals must provide detailed information about the composition of the waste, the details of the research project, any environmental risks, and more. The required information is shown on the checklist. Unless specified by the agency, all DRP proposals must include an application and submission form:

Waste characterization

You must characterize waste that you propose to reuse:

  • Determine if the waste contains hazardous materials – No waste intended for a beneficial use or demonstration/research project may contain hazardous materials.
  • List the chemicals present in the waste – Evaluate the processes at the facility producing the waste and review material safety data sheets, ingredient labels, and other pertinent information.
  • Identify the physical properties affecting its use or management – Analyze the waste with the methods provided in Minn. Rule Ch. 7045.0214, subpart 3.

Other guidance

Storage prior to beneficial use – Solid wastes must be stored in compliance with standards prior to beneficial use. The goal of storage standards is to prevent contaminating groundwater or surface waters and prevent nuisance conditions at storage facilities.

Industrial by-products – An industrial by-product is a residual material from an industrial, commercial, mining, or agricultural operation that is not a primary product and not produced separately in the process. By-products that originate from food, beverage, and agricultural operations are regulated through industrial water-quality permitting. Learn more: Industrial by-products