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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


The New Metro Waste Plan

Last month the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency commissioner signed the new Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Policy Plan 2010-2030.  I haven't made time to read it all yet, but I wanted to highlight this section of the web page containing the documents:

Within the last 10 years, municipal solid waste generation in the twin cities metropolitan area grew by 8 percent and recycling has not increased enough to keep up with generation. In addition, the use of resource recovery capacity declined by 15 percent while land disposal increased by 15 percent. Further, many materials that are discarded as waste contain toxic components that threaten public health and the environment. If the region is to move beyond these trends, fundamental change is necessary.

Our City Council has identified economics as the top goal in studying organized collection and examining Maplewood's current waste hauling system.  The economics are intertwined with these environmental concerns -- an inability to reduce the volume of trash that we generate means that we will continue to shift costs on our children and grandchildren, whose inheritance will include managing the landfills that we dump in today, just as we continue to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars dealing with the dumps of the past.

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