Get ready to fire off some Comments!

Last Thursday evening was a meeting at the MPCA about the Metro Solid Waste Policy Plan.  It was a meeting, sparsely attended as you can see.  And it was not a hearing, there is no record and… well… the plan?  It’s lame to say the least, no plan at all!

DRAFT Metro Solid Waste Management Policy 2010-2030

Here’s what jumps out at me:


First, as a Red Wing resident, I note that the Xcel garbage burner is NOT on the map, only the City’s burner.  Second, I note that Xcel’s Mankato burner is not on the map.   EH?  If they don’t know about or acknowledge these burners, what does that do for the credibility of this “report?”

More importantly, look at the skewed map.  This is about METRO waste, but look where it’s going.  It’s going out of the metro area.  Greater Minnesota needs to institute a garbage tax, errrrr… fee, to force the Metro area to deal with its own waste and to institute serious recycling and Zero Waste programs.  And they don’t separate out which is a “Resource Recovery Facility” and what is a burner in the legend.  Maybe a big orange ire to denote burner?

Another big problem is this is classic GIGO. The forecasts are as off as the CapX 2020 electric demand forecasts:


They haven’t gotten the word that demand and growth is down down down, has been since 2007.  But they’re basing it on old data and using inflated numbers.  “(Note-In order to be conservative, this forecast is based on a high growth scenario…)” p. 10.  High growth is NOT conservative, nor is their plan.   So the first thing to do is scrap the whole thing because it’s based on old data, then redo the forecasts and start anew.

They admit that “Recycling contributes to the economy of the region,” but they don’t stress increasing recycling.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that that is the highest priority.

And the biggest problem — they seem to accept stagnant recycling levels and rather than a big push on recycling and Zero Waste, they pus for more incineration, and talk of “available unpermitted, but installed capacity of 40,000 tons per year at HERC and 40,000 tons per year of unused permitted capacity at the Red Wing and Mankato RDF combustors,” is the last thing me and my allergies want to see or smell.  Up here on the bluff, there are times that the wind blows it right in my windows.  And then there’s the breast milk of Inuit women, toxics traced to the burners.  Take burning off the table now.

Another thing that sticks in my craw — the notion of “stakeholders.”  Who is a stakeholder?  It’s the waste industry… specifically, Product Producers, Waste generators (residents, businesses, public entities), Waste industry, Government.  I’ve seen the email list, and it’s industry, industry, industry.

Send Comments to:


Metro Solid Waste Policy Plan Comments


520 Lafayette Road North

St. Paul, MN  55155-4100

MPCA’s press release:

Comments sought on Metro Solid Waste Policy Plan