About us

The R&E Board provides joint solid waste services to all residents, businesses and institutions in the two counties. Ramsey and Washington Counties together have 785,000 residents living in 303,000 households, with 407,000 people employed within the two counties. The Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board (R&E Board) is a joint powers board formed by Ramsey and Washington Counties as authorized by Minnesota Statutes. The R&E Board consists of five Ramsey County Commissioners, four Washington County Commissioners and two ex officio non-voting members, one each from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the City of Newport.

In 2016, the R&E Board acquired the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center (R&E Center) from Resource Recovery Technologies. In 2016 – 2017 the R&E Board tackled the complexity of converting a private resource recovery facility to public ownership and operation. In addition, the R&E Board continued operating several programs on behalf of both counties, including the BizRecycling program for businesses and institutions. Click here to see the R&E Board’s most recent Annual Report.

The foundation for the work of the R&E Board is a bold pivot in our thinking about waste. For decades, the two counties, in response to State requirements, “managed” waste in a traditional manner – treating discarded materials as a liability. After significant evaluation from 2013-2015, the two counties decided to pivot their thinking and to recognize the inherent value in the materials that are thrown away, viewing these items as local assets. In making that pivot, the economic and environmental value of these assets can be realized only through a complete system that seeks to recover that value.

The result: a vision which assembles various ways of handling these resources, anchored by the R&E Center. In fulfilling this vision, the East Metro area will maximize the recovery of resources, divert as much as possible from landfills, and meet and exceed the State’s 75% recycling goal.

The vision that resulted from a multi-year evaluation and planning process resulted in a truly integrated system that responsibly implements Minnesota’s solid waste hierarchy and respects partnerships between public, private and non-profit service providers.

The R&E Board is supported by an administrative structure that includes a Joint Leadership Team (JLT), with members of the Ramsey and Washington Counties’ respective public health departments and a liaison to the Ramsey County Finance Department. The JLT manages R&E Board staff, staff from the two counties assigned to work on joint activities, as well as a number of consultants. The Ramsey County Finance Department serves as the Fiscal Agent for the R&E Board, and the Ramsey County Human Resources Department provides human resources services.

Project Board Members (2017)  

Victoria Reinhardt, Chair.............................Ramsey County Commissioner
Fran Miron, Vice Chair.................................Washington County Commissioner
Karla Bigham....................................................Washington County Commissioner
Toni Carter........................................................Ramsey County Commissioner
Blake Huffman................................................Ramsey County Commissioner
Stan Karwoski.................................................Washington County Commissioner
Gary Kriesel......................................................Washington County Commissioner
Mary Jo McGuire ...........................................Ramsey County Commissioner
Rafael Ortega...................................................Ramsey County Commissioner
Janice Rettman (alternate).........................Ramsey County Commissioner
Lisa Weik  (alternate)....................................Washington County Commissioner