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MPCA, State Regulators Enforce Law to Send More Twin Cities Trash to Incinerators

While recycling and composting materials are the agency’s first priority, it prefers burning the waste that remains to produce energy instead of sending it to landfill

After thousands of tons of trash from the Twin Cities ended up in landfills instead of incinerators last year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and state regulators are enforcing a 30-year old law, which prioritizes burning trash over burying it.

MPCA Assistant Commissioner Kirk Koudelka says that recycling and composting materials are the agency’s first priority, but it prefers burning the waste that remains to produce energy instead of sending it to landfill, partially because of the recyclables that are recovered in the process.

StarTribune has more:

Thousands of tons of trash from across the Twin Cities ended up in landfills instead of being incinerated to make electricity last year, despite a state law that prioritizes burning over burying.

But that 30-year-old law has never been enforced — until now.

State regulators are pressing the companies that collect and dispose of metro area trash to fill the area’s incinerators before heading to landfills, a shift that has met with resistance and even a legal challenge. Meanwhile, the burners at Great River Energy’s waste-to-energy plant in Elk River run below capacity, and lack of trash forced Red Wing to close a small incinerator at its processing facility several years ago.

Read the full story here.

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