Minnesota MSW Composition Study (1999-2000)

A study of discards in Minnesota

PDF icon Minnesota Statewide MSW Composition Study

The Statewide MSW Composition Study (March 2000) is a detailed examination of what Minnesotans throw away as garbage. By sorting waste samples at eight locations around the state, the study offers a comprehensive look at the materials that are going to landfills, MSW composting operations, and incinerators. The study has also worked to differentiate between waste from residential and commercial/industrial sources.


The composition study included field sorting events between September 27 and November 20, 1999. Data collected through this waste composition study will be used for many purposes in Minnesota.

  • Establish a baseline for measuring future success in achieving waste management objectives.
  • Assist the partners in setting future policy direction and management priorities.
  • Assess progress in reduction and recycling since the last waste composition study done by the MPCA in 1991-92.


The project team of R.W. Beck, Inc. and GRG Analysis was retained by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) to develop a representative, statistically defensible estimate of the composition of Minnesota's MSW.

Eight facilities were selected to provide a representative sample of the waste generated in both the Twin Cities metropolitan region and Greater Minnesota. Combined, the samples from these facilities provide a detailed look at solid waste discards for the entire state.

  • Brooklyn Park Transfer Station
  • Waste Management/United Waste Transfer Station (St. Paul)
  • HERC Waste-to-Energy (WTE)
  • NRG Newport Refuse-Derived-Fuel Production Facility
  • Burnsville MSW Landfill
  • St. Louis County MSW Landfill
  • Polk County Waste-to-Energy (WTE)
  • Prairieland MSW Composting Facility