Disposing of wastes from a natural disaster or large fire

debris at transfer station

This webpage provides information about disposal facilities so local government decision-makers can review and plan their disposal options.

Floods, tornadoes, and even large building fires can generate large volumes of unexpected solid waste. To manage, sort, and dispose of this waste, a variety of temporary and permanent disposal facilities may be required.

Although the alternate disposal options for some items will differ from those normally available to you, the MPCA has determined that these temporary options will provide the flexibility and expediency needed to address this issue.

More solid waste contact information is also available at MPCA's county environmental contacts webpage.

Waste categories for community pickup and disposal

If you have significant amounts of waste materials, you can help the collection efforts by separating your flood-damaged materials for community pickup and disposal as specified in the table below. Owners of damaged vehicles should personally arrange for their disposal.

Table 1.  Waste categories for community pickup and disposal

Disposal option
Demolition debris, building materials, and concrete
Demolition landfill
Municipal waste, such as food, paper, clothing, household furniture, household waste, trash and asbestos waste.
Sanitary landfill
Hazardous waste (commercial or household)
Household hazardous waste collection facility
Tree and brush waste
Compost facility
Appliances (white goods) and electronics, including washers, dryers, dishwashers, furnaces, microwave ovens, water heaters, televisions and computers
Appliance and electronics recycling/disposal site
Oil-soaked absorbent pads and other special wastes
Local designated collection

Waste categories for residential items

The table below lists common household items and their waste categories. These categories may become less restrictive if a major flood, tornado, or other natural disaster occurs. If that happens, additional guidance will be issued.

Table 2. Temporary solid waste categories for residential items

Solid waste category
Air conditioners
Appliances, portable (e.g., toasters, hotplates, heaters)
Municipal waste
Books, magazines (not recyclable)
Municipal waste
Cardboard (not recyclable)
Municipal waste
Carpeting (if remaining in demolished building)
Demolition waste
Carpeting (if removed and placed separately for disposal)
Municipal waste
Clothes dryers, washing machines
Municipal waste
Demolition waste
Municipal waste
Municipal waste
Household pesticides, paints, stains, etc.
Household hazardous waste
Insulation (non-asbestos)
Demolition waste
Lumber (treated)
Municipal waste
Lumber (untreated)
Demolition waste
Microwave ovens
Powdered detergent
Municipal waste
Sheetrock, wallboard
Demolition waste
Stereos, radios
Municipal waste
Televisions, computers
Appliances or Electronics
Window glass
Demolition waste


Disposal facilities and transfer stations

Use this interactive map to locate disposal facilities or transfer stations in your area that accept waste.



Legend for Minnesota debris management sites map

Some counties may have established special procedures and/or temporary storage sites to accommodate the large volumes of damaged materials generated by a natural disaster. So, contact your local emergency operations center (EOC) or solid waste office for disposal facility locations if you plan to haul the flood-damaged materials yourself.

For specific information

Contact your local EOC or your county’s solid waste office. If you don't know the phone number for your local contact, call the MPCA office nearest to you:

  • Brainerd: 218-828-2492
  • Detroit Lakes: 218-847-1519
  • Duluth: 218-723-4660
  • Mankato: 507-389-5977
  • Marshall: 507-537-7146
  • Rochester: 507-285-7343
  • St. Paul: 651-296-6300
  • All offices can be reached toll-free at 1-800-657-3864