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.

2017 SCORE report

2017 marks the highest documented combined recycling rate recorded for Minnesota since the start of the SCORE program in 1991. An encouraging trend shows that more paper, plastics, and organics are being diverted from disposal. Those materials make up the majority of waste in the state.

  • 2017 SCORE Report – Use the new interactive SCORE report to explore current data and trends.


  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) increased by 7.2%
  • Recycling and organics collection grew to 44.75%. This is an increase of 11.2% from 2016.

Combined recycling

  • All major categories of recyclables increased statewide in 2017 compared to 2016 with the exception of other (e.g. textiles, mattresses, HHW)
  • Paper, metals, and plastics all reversed their downward trends from the previous year

Organics deep-dive

  • Since 2013, counties are making efforts to document yard waste composting and food to people recycling in the SCORE survey
  • Source-separated Organics (SSO) continue their upward trend
  • Organics processing capacity and transportation continue to be a significant challenge to SSO collection and management

SCORE funding and reporting

  • Most of the dollars spent to implement the county programs came from local funding (58%)
  • Just over $86M was spent on SCORE-related activities; 35% of that going to recycling and organics
  • Waste-to-Energy (WTE) spending increased from 6.9% of the expenditures in 2016 to 10% in 2017