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News release

June 7, 2023


Kevin Gaffney, 612-414-6139,

MPCA: Weekly recycling, curbside organics among 70 ideas to cut waste in metro

Waste on track to increase 19% over next 20 years

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today released a draft Metropolitan Solid Waste Policy Plan 2022-2042 that includes 70 recommendations for improving how the seven-county metropolitan area manages a growing waste problem. The 20-year plan aims to reduce waste across the metro with strategies ranging from weekly curbside trash, recycling, and compost pickup to fees for takeout containers and grants for businesses to reduce food waste.

The broader Twin Cities area is generating more trash every year and efforts to reduce the amount that goes to landfills continue to be a challenge. The region generated 3.3 million tons of waste in 2021, and this number is expected to grow 19% by 2042. Recycling rates have remained stagnant in recent years around 45% — far less than the state’s goal of achieving a 75% recycling rate by 2030. Some counties are seeing a decrease in recycling rates.  

“To protect our air, land, and water, we must do more to meet our waste reduction, recycling, and composting goals,” said Kirk Koudelka, assistant commissioner for land policy and strategic initiatives at the MPCA. “These goals are ambitious. Meeting them will require deep collaboration between local governments, individuals, and businesses. I encourage metro residents to review the recommendations included in this plan and share their perspectives.”   

Recommendations in the draft plan include:

  • 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.  

“It is critical that our Minnesota communities and residents to do all they can to reduce landfill impact. Far too often, people don’t take the time and effort to get quality, usable basic home furnishing to an organization who can pass it on to those in need so they can thrive.” said Diana Dalsin, director of strategic partnerships at Bridging, which distributes donated furniture and household goods to people who are pursuing housing stability. The agency announced its new plan at the organization’s Roseville warehouse.

Of the 3.3 million tons of waste each generated each year, more than two-thirds that ends up in our landfills could be recycled or reused. Trash in landfills releases harmful pollution into our air, land, and water. This plan will reduce these impacts with short- and long-term solutions to the metro’s waste management challenges.  

The public is encouraged to provide input on the plan through August. The MPCA will host a formal public meeting on the plan on 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 help local governments and businesses implement the recommendations to reduce the amount of trash in Twin Cities landfills and meet our goal of achieving a 75% recycling rate by 2030.

To read the full draft of the Metropolitan Solid Waste Plan and provide your input, visit

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