Recycling in Minnesota: The SCORE Report

The Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment (SCORE) Report is an annual examination of Minnesota waste management programs and data, as well as providing detailed data by county. The MPCA uses SCORE information to detail trends in waste generation, management, and disposal. SCORE data trends are used to help develop sound policy and plans to manage waste in a manner that protects the environment and human health.

2020 SCORE data

Minnesota posted a combined recycling rate of 43.6% in 2020, an increase of 1.5% from 2019.

Overview

  • Municipal solid waste (MSW) tonnage decreased by 1%.
  • The amount of Mixed Municipal Solid Waste (MMSW) sent to landfills and waste-to-energy facilities in 2020 held steady at 56.4%.

Environmental impacts

Quantifying the environmental footprint of materials, in addition to their tonnage, tells a more complete story of waste in Minnesota. The MPCA calculated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) related to waste management for 2020.

  • In general, reducing, reusing, or recycling waste saves GHGe while landfilling results in higher GHGe.
  • Minnesota saved roughly 4.3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent due to waste management practices. This equates to removing annual emissions from 909,000 passenger vehicles.

Waste-to-energy

  • 2020 saw a 3% decrease in waste-to-energy statewide.
  • Restriction on Disposal requirements were met for an entire year for the first time in 2020.