Integrated Waste Management System

The waste management hierarchy is defined by state law and illustrated in this graphic. The highest and best practice is waste prevention and reuse, creating less waste overall. Next is recycling, creating new materials and products from existing materials. This is followed by compost, recycling of organic material into finished, valuable compost. After reuse and recycling, follows waste-to-energy (WTE). This process of burning waste to produce electricity and steam power is the best use for items not in the previous categories. The last and least desirable waste management system is landfilling, burying waste.

The waste hierarchy is a shared responsibility by government, waste management industry, residents, businesses, manufacturers of products, retailers, and environmental groups. MRRA serves as a key player in this responsibility as well and provides an essential component of a sustainable community. Most MRRA facilities provide numerous programs to their county residents including reuse programs, organics food waste recycling and household hazardous waste disposal.

These facilities tie directly to the hierarchy, part of a complete waste management system. They are designed to protect public and environmental health, support a vibrant economy and wise use of resources.

As Minnesotans, we aim high. We are deeply proud of our state, its people, and its natural resources. We are committed to doing our part to ensure a sustainable future including helping to meet the state’s goal of zero waste.

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Integrated Waste Management System

The waste management hierarchy is defined by state law and illustrated in this graphic...

What Is Waste to Energy?

Resource recovery, or waste to energy (WTE), is the process of generating energy or steam from the processing of...

Path to Zero Waste

Zero waste can be a priority for a county, city or even an organization, but what does it truly mean?

Solid Waste in Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) examines waste management for the entire state...

WTE Statistics and Facts

Minnesota's resource recovery facilities annually process into energy enough garbage to fill...


MRRA members enjoy access to specialized and required training, annual educational workshops, quarterly meetings, facility tours and much more.