Path to Zero Waste

Zero waste can be a priority for a county, city or even an organization, but what does it truly mean? Zero waste is a system where all materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Typically, a key performance measure of diverting 90% or more of all discarded materials from landfill and incinerators. WTE plays an important role in managing waste that cannot be diverted.

  • Zero waste is focused on diversion of waste. This requires many commitments including cultural change, challenging existing waste practices and continually making improvements. It requires individuals to be familiar with their waste and disposal options.
  • Many are planning or striving for 100% diversion of materials. To do so, we must first initiate a zero-waste discussion. This includes evaluating details of operations and creating specific plans for implementation.
  • Zero waste continues to be a work in progress in Minnesota. MMRA members and our facilities support product stewardship programs. Many of our members are taking actions too.
  • Hennepin County has developed an operational plan to map them to zero-waste.
  • Ramsey & Washington counties have implemented county-wide food scrap collection programs to significantly reduce waste and divert that valuable material.
  • All MRRA facilities are removing recyclables from trash that enters their facilities, improving state recycling rates.

MRRA members believe that we are key to managing trash. Until there is no longer waste that cannot be diverted, WTE plays a critical role in a path to zero waste.

Learn More

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.