Hennepin County plans to reach zero waste to landfills

The board adopted the Hennepin County Solid Waste Management Master Plan for 2018-2023. State statute requires metro counties to prepare master plans every six years that identify strategies to meet the state’s goal of zero waste landfilled by 2030. The county has made steady progress toward these goals and diverted 82 percent of waste from landfills in 2016, a rate on par with national leaders. A primary focus of the plan is diverting organics from the trash by proposing requirements for cities and certain businesses, increasing local capacity to manage organics and working to prevent food waste.

The master plan includes the following strategies to help meet our goals of increasing recycling, preventing waste, and sending zero waste to landfills:

  • Focus on organics recycling, which is the greatest opportunity to reduce our trash, by proposing requirements for cities and certain businesses, increasing local capacity to manage organics, and working to prevent food waste.
  • Build momentum for waste prevention and reuse by better understanding consumption habits and promoting waste prevention actions.
  • Continue to serve residents where they are, including at single-family and multifamily residences, work, school and on the go.
  • Promote drop-off disposal options for household hazardous waste and recyclables.
  • Reuse and recycle construction and demolition waste.
  • Support the MPCA’s environmental justice policy in alignment with the county’s disparity reduction efforts.

Impact/Outcome: The master plan was developed to be consistent with the county’s mission to enhance the health, safety and quality of life of our residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way. It is also consistent with Environment and Energy’s mission of protecting the environment and conserving resources for future generations.

The intended outcome of the county’s master plan is to guide the development and implementation of waste management programs and facilities that protect the environment, reduce the amount of waste generated, properly manage hazardous waste, recover material and energy from waste, and minimize the use of landfills.

The impact of not successfully achieving master plan outcomes will be the continued and increased use of land disposal of solid waste at landfills in Minnesota and adjacent states; greater quantities of greenhouse gas emissions; less material recycled and composted; and less energy recovered from waste.


—Information is from Hennepin County Solid Waste Management