Increasing recycling of beverage containers

The MPCA submitted a recommendations report to the Legislature on increasing recycling of beverage containers (February 24, 2014).

Report

The final report to the Legislature includes a program design for a statewide recycling refund program for beverage containers, a cost-benefit analysis on the financial impacts of this program design, and public comments on the draft work. The public process for research and completing the report began in September 2013, and included two public forums for interested parties.

Legislative charge

HTML icon Laws 2013, chapter 114, article 3, section 3, subd. 5

The commissioner shall prepare and submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees and divisions with jurisdiction over the environment and natural resources by January 15, 2014, with recommendations for a statewide recycling refund program for beverage containers that achieves an 80 percent recycling rate. In preparing the report, the commissioner shall consult with stakeholders, including retailers, collectors, recyclers, local governments, and consumers on options to increase the current recycling rate. An assessment of the financial impact of any recommended program shall be included in the report. (Laws 2013, article 3, section 3, subd. 5; see lines 52.10 through 52.25)

Background

The public process for research and completing the report began in September 2013, and included two public forums for interested parties.

Draft study

Public comments on the draft study

The purpose of the January meeting was to allow for public comment and feedback on the work presented. To that end, comments on the draft cost-benefit analysis were accepted through January 22.

Background: Request for proposals for the cost-benefit analysis

An RFP was issued for a consultant to conduct cost-benefit analysis on the recommended program, as required by the bill.


Draft program design

 

Public comments on the draft program design

MPCA accepted comments on the draft program design through November 4, 2013. The agency sought comments on specific provisions of the draft program design and how those provisions can be improved to promote ease of implementation and program efficiency, as well as data and research that will contribute to overall program functionality.

Public meetings

September 2013

An open meeting was held on September 30 to review the draft program design and allow the public to provide input in a facilitated forum. Comments on the draft program design were accepted through November 4.

January 2014

The second public meeting to review the updated draft program design and the corresponding draft cost-benefit analysis was held January 14 in St. Paul.

Related research

Minnesota MSW Composition Study. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) retained a project team of Burns & McDonnell, Inc. (lead), 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. (2013)

Minnesota Curbside Recycling Survey. In 2012, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency conducted a survey to better understand how curbside recycling programs are structured statewide. City and county recycling coordinators were asked about residential curbside programs, seeking details on what is collected and how it is collected, with an emphasis on types of plastics. (2013)

Choosing Recycling Collection Methods study. Research into the comparative advantages of single- and dual-stream collection programs for recycling. The project included gathering information about the collection and processing methods of four major materials recovery facilities (MRF) in Minnesota, the quality of materials received at seven major recycling markets and its impacts, and the characteristics and benefits of select recycling equipment. (2006)