Minnesota counties enact new waste designation

Waste and recycling haulers in Minnesota’s Ramsey and Washington counties will soon be required bring all collected waste to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy Center in Newport.

Haulers currently take a portion of collected waste to landfills. Under the amendment, recently passed by the Washington County Board, haulers must take all material they collect to the recycling and energy center in Newport rather than to a landfill, where nonrecyclable material will be combusted.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners conducted a public hearing Sept. 12, 2017, to gather testimony on a county ordinance for waste designation. After the hearing was closed, the board adopted the ordinance.

Under Minnesota law, waste designation allows counties to require all or a portion of solid waste to be delivered to a designated waste management facility. Designation relates to what happens to waste after it is collected.

Ramsey and Washington counties have submitted amendments to their respective solid waste master plans, and a joint waste designation plan was approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last year.

The two counties have determined that designation is necessary to ensure acceptable waste from the counties is managed in a manner that ranks higher on the state’s waste management hierarchy than in previous years.

Entering into negotiated waste delivery agreements with waste haulers for the voluntary delivery of all acceptable waste generated in the two counties is a preferred way to achieve more certain deliveries to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center, according to a news release from Washington County.

Waste designation in the counties is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

King County recycling and transfer station opens

King County, Washington, officially dedicated its Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station in Bellevue.

The new facility offers an array of recycling services for major appliances, yard waste, clean wood, scrap metal, commingled recyclables, textiles and more. Additionally, a new household hazardous waste (HHW) facility gives customers a place to dispose of HHW materials.

Garbage disposal services were not disrupted during the three-year reconstruction project, which included the demolition and removal of the old facility, the building of a new retention wall and the installation of public art.

Key features of the new solid waste transfer building include:

  • a flat-floor that allows for easier unloading of garbage, better traffic flow and expanded capacity, helping reduce customer wait times; and
  • sustainable design features, including translucent skylights and window panels for natural light, rainwater harvesting, recycled-content building materials and landscaping with drought-tolerant plants.

King County operates eight transfer stations, two drop-boxes, the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill and many programs designed to help customers recycle.