An annual evaluation of Minnesota's recycling, reduction and waste management programs
In 1989, the Minnesota Legislature adopted comprehensive waste reduction and recycling legislation based on the recommendations of the Governor's Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment. SCORE is part of Minnesota’s Waste Management Act and provides counties with a funding source to develop waste reduction, recycling and solid waste management programs. Ambitious goals for recycling and waste reduction were set for Minnesota counties and have typically been met, if not exceeded.
In the report
The SCORE Report is an annual examination of Minnesota waste management programs and data, as well as providing detailed data by county. The figures are gathered through a formal survey of county solid waste officers. Find information on statewide recycling rates, waste reduction efforts, waste generation figures, waste processing and disposal, and SCORE finance and administration in the report.
Municipal solid waste disposal trends 2001-2012
SCORE reporting relief
In 2009, the Minnesota legislature directed the MPCA to evaluate and make recommendations to amend SCORE reporting requirements. This included an effort to minimize duplicative reporting, reduce the strain on county resources for data collection and to ensure consistent methods are employed statewide. (See 2009 Minnesota Session Law chapter 37, Article 1, Section 62 (1,2) for full text).
One required component was that a report be submitted to the Legislature in January of 2010 recommending changes to future SCORE survey and report requirements. In an effort to fully understand the existing challenges and make recommendations that would best serve the counties, the MPCA worked with a variety of partners to develop the SCORE Implementation Plan. This plan recommended multiple modifications to the SCORE data annually collected by the MPCA.
To date, several of the recommend changes have taken effect, including:
- Eliminating questions related to the breakdown of full time equivalent (FTE) staff working on various SCORE-related activities;
- Removal of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and electronic waste (e-Waste) related questions because the data is already submitted to the Agency in other formats, and;
- Removal of credits for source reduction and yard waste collection
Additional recommendations the MPCA is currently working to incorporate include:
- Facility and hauler reporting;
- Documented tonnages from entities handling the materials, eliminating county estimates; and
- Improved data collection and management system.
The reporting for 2013 data will be the same as previous years, and the full transition to County reporting online via ReTRAC will be implemented for 2014 data.
Below is a letter mailed to Minnesota Counties on December 24, 2013, on the changes and impacts of the SCORE reporting utilizing ReTRAC software. Due to contract and database development delays a limited launch in 2014 (CY 2013 data) with a complete conversion to the new system in 2015 (CY 2014 data) will be implemented.
Solid waste policy reports
The Pollution Control Agency submits a Solid Waste Policy Report to the Senate and House Environment and Natural Resources Committees each odd-numbered year that includes the SCORE Report. (In even-numbered years, MPCA issues a report on the SCORE program, but there is no legislative mandate.)
Through these policy reports, MPCA provides an analysis of the status of the state's solid waste system, and makes recommendations to the Legislature regarding Minnesota's waste management policies, system improvements, and research.