Recycling in Minnesota: The SCORE Report

An annual evaluation of Minnesota's recycling, reduction and waste management programs

Annual SCORE Report

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.

PDF icon Report on 2016 SCORE Programs (w-sw1-34)

Municipal solid waste disposal trends 2001-2012

Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Trends 2001-2012

SCORE reporting relief

In 2009, the state 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.

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 PDF icon SCORE Implementation Plan. This plan recommended multiple modifications to the SCORE data annually collected by the MPCA.

To date, several of the recommended changes have taken effect:

  • 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:

  • Facility and hauler reporting;
  • Documented tonnages from entities handling the materials, eliminating county estimates; and
  • Improved data collection and management system.

MPCA informed Minnesota counties on the changes and impacts of the SCORE reporting utilizing ReTRAC software.

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.