Research, Reports and Findings

The R&E Board has been evaluating alternative methodologies and scenarios for improving the environment, achieving their common vision to increase recycling and get the most value out of trash.  Below outlines the relevant research, reports and findings that support the R&E Board's decision to implement designation.  A full list of supporting research, including summary, can be found on the Resources tab.  

Alternatives Analysis

  • Alternative Technologies for Municipal Solid Waste, July 2013
    This report has complete up-to-date research on gasification, pyrolysis, plasma arc, mass burn, anaerobic digestion, mixed waste processing and plastics to fuel to provide the current status of the technology and its likely applicability to the waste stream in Ramsey and Washington Counties.
  • Anaerobic Digestion (AD) - Update on Technology Status, April 2015
    Provides an update on the current planned scope of anaerobic digestion (AD); status of select vendors and existing projects providing AD systems; and economic & marketability of AD products (i.e. biogas and compost).
  • Analysis of Mixed Waste Processing (MWP), September 2014
    This study examines the potential of adding Mixed Waste Processing Technology at Newport and the costs associated with adding the technology. 
  • Assessment of the Processing Capacity and Capability of the Newport Facility | Part 1 | Part 2, November 2015
    This report documents that the Newport Facility has the capacity and capability to produce RDF to meet the Xcel Fuel Supply Agreement provided:
    • Adequate MSW quantities of at least 380,000 to 400,000 tons are delivered per year.
    • The supplies of spare parts for ongoing maintenance are available and restocked at adequate levels.
    • Existing supervisors and key staff continue in their employment at the Newport Facility during the transition of ownership providing the experience and knowledge to operate the Facility.
    • Relationships with the key suppliers are maintained to provide parts, service, and knowledge known to be important for timely maintenance and repair.
  • Estimated Calculations of Additional SSR/SSO Tons, September 2014
    Provides a summary of calculations of existing recycling tonnage data compared to materials still remaining in the mixed municipal solid waste stream.
  • Ethanol Demand versus Production, April 2015
    Provides an overview of ethanol production in Minnesota and refinery capacity in the Twin Cities.
  • Follow-up Comparison of the Current Newport RDF Plant and Vecoplan System, April 2015
    Provides a comparison of the RDF production technology at the current Newport facility with that presented for the Vecoplan system in Edmonton, Canada.
  • Follow-up on Technology Siting and Permitting Analysis, April 2015
    Technologies evaluated in this memo include: gasification, mixed waste processing and anaerobic digestion.
  • Gasification - Update on Technology Status, April 2015
    Provides a summaryof the potential material flows, an update on current status of gasification technology, and progress on implementation of gasification.
  • Minnesota's Organized Collection Process: Update on 2013 Amendment to the State Law, March 2014
    This memo summarizes the current processes available for cities to change from "open hauling" of solid waste.
  • Mixed Waste Processing - Update on Technology Status, April 2015
    Provides an update on current technology status of mixed waste processing (MWP) equipment, economics of MWP and marketability of recycled materials.
  • Ownership Considerations, February 2015
    This analysis includes looking at the current Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) processing facility and also looking at other technologies that may be used to process MSW. 
  • Preliminary Resource Recovery Feasibility Report, January 2015
    This report addresses the technologies selected for continued evaluation by the Ramsey/Washington Counties Resource Recovery Project as part of the future of waste processing decision process.
  • Preliminary Technical Status of the Newport and Two Xcel Combustion, Facilities, October 2013
    This report provides a preliminary current technical status of the Xcel combustion plants located in Red Wing, MN and Mankato, MN (Wilmath plant) and the Newport Resource Recovery Facility (Newport).
  • Report: System Changes to Achieve the Scope for Resource Management, April 2015
    The Scope is a vision and is a system view of using technologies and techniques appropriate to the materials discarded by residents and businesses in the East Metro.
  • Research Study Gasification, Plasma, Ethanol, & Anaerobic Digestion Waste Processing Technologies, 2008
    The following report details the alternative waste processing technologies for municipal solid waste.  The technologies reviewed include gasification, plasma arc, ethanol production and anaerobic digestion.  Each of the technologies is discussed as to the process, products recovered and potential uses, environmental concerns, regulatory issues, and experience with the technology.
  • Sanigreen/Sanimax Summary of Process Overview, Permitting Status; and Feedstock, April 2015
    Provides an overview for the permitting status, process flow and anticipated feedstock for the proposed anaerobic digestion (AD) facility being constructed at the Sanimax facility in South St. Paul.
  • Summary of Responses to Request for Expression of Interest on Gasification Technologies to Process Mixed Municipal Solid Waste, September 2014
    The purpose of the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) was to assist the Project Board in understanding the commercial viability of new and emerging municipal solid waste (MSW gasification technologies and if those technologies could fit within the existing waste processing infrastructure.
  • Technology Comparative Analysis, January 2015
    This report compares the three options analyzed in the Preliminary Resource Recovery Feasibility Report to the current RDF System and to landfilling.
  • Two Additional Technology Options Requested, April 2015
    Provides a summary of two additional technology options for comparison to the five technology options considered in the previous Preliminary Resource Recovery Feasibility Report and Technology Comparative Analysis.
  • Waste Compostion Study, September 2014
    The data and information in the report will be useful for the current planning process addressing State goals for recycling and organics recovery as well as for future waste processing. 

Environmental Analysis

  • Emissions Comparison of Minnesota Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facilities, April 2015
    Overview of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Combustion Air Quality Standards.
  • Environmental Analysis Report, April 2015
    Provides an environmental analysis of policy options related to system design under consideration by Ramsey and Washington Counties.
  • Estimated Calculations of Additional SSR/SSO Tons, September 2014
    Provides a summary of calculations of existing recycling tonnage data compared to materials still remaining in the mixed municipal solid waste stream.
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) History for RDF and Xcel facilities, March 2015
    This analysis presents estimates of GHG emissions from the Xcel RDF combustion plants (Red Wing & Wilmarth) since the inception of the Newport Resource Recovery Facility in 1988.
  • Greenhouse Gas Systems Analysis, April 2015
    The purpose of this analysis is to compare the annual costs of seven potential scenarios to each other.  This analysis provides information for future waste processing decisions along with other considerations provided in other reports such as the analyses for greenhouse gas emissions potential risks, technology issues, waste assurance, and ownership that are being considered as part of the decision making process for future waste processing options. 
  • Waste Compostion Study, September 2014
    The data and information in the report will be useful for the current planning process addressing State goals for recycling and organics recovery as well as for future waste processing. 
  • Water Needs and Use for Selected Technologies, April 2015
    The information provided in this memorandum was provided by various sources and provides an anticipated range of water use and waste water generation for each process.

Policy Analysis

  • Facility Ownership Decision, May 2015
    This memorandum provides background on the process, and frames two options under consideration by the Project Board.
  • Financial Analysis Report, February 2015
    Provides a comprehensive financial analysis of policy options related to system design and Newport Facility ownership under consideration by Ramsey and Washington Counties.
  • Financing Options, February 2015
    This memorandum outlines key issues to financing those future processing efforts. The specific areas being reviewed are capital and operating costs under public ownership; financing improvements at the Newport Facility under public ownership; and continued private ownership.
  • Future Ramsey-Washington Joint Powers Board Options: Public & Private Ownership Scenarios, April 2015
    This memorandum provides an overview of two governance approaches for the continued oversight and management of the joint solid waste management system between Ramsey and Washington Counties.
  • Life Cycle Financial Analysis, February 2015
    The report details the analysis of GHG emissions and the comparison of options for various waste management scenarios that could occur in Ramsey and Washington Counties. This report is intended to be a comparative analysis of different systems and not an all-inclusive life cycle GHG analysis of specific waste management systems. Items that generated the same GHG emissions between the systems were not accounted for in the GHG systems analysis such as the life cycle of a collection truck. 
  • Minnesota's Organized Collection Process: Update on 2013 Amendment to the State Law, March 2014
    This memo summarizes the current processes available for cities to change from "open hauling" of solid waste.
  • MPCA Enforcement of Metropolitan Waste Processing Statute (Minn. Stat. § 473.848), September 2014
    This document serves to summarize the Metropolitan Waste Processing Statute, identify MPCA's plan to enforce the statute, describe litigation to-date, and outline the effects of the MPCA strategy on Ramsey and Washington Counties.
  • Newport Facility Operating Cost Estimate, May 2015
    The cost estimates cover the operating cost categories including the addition of the corporate RRT positions, Project Board Plant managers and contract operator service fee for 2016-2017.
  • Preliminary Resource Recovery Feasibility Report, January 2015
    This report addresses the technologies selected for continued evaluation by the Ramsey/Washington Counties Resource Recovery Project as part of the future of waste processing decision process.
  • Report: System Changes to Achieve the Scope for Resource Management, April 2015
    The Scope is a vision and is a system view of using technologies and techniques appropriate to the materials discarded by residents and businesses in the East Metro.
  • Risk Analysis Report, April 2015
    This report provides an analysis of risks associated with public and private ownership of the Newport Facility.
  • Solid Waste Delivery Assurance Analysis and Options, February 2014
    This document provides an overview of options for assuring delivery of mixed municipal solid waste, and potentially other solid wastes, to the Newport Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Facility or another resource recovery facility involving Ramsey and Washington Counties. 
  • Update Regarding Waste Delivery Assurance: Public & Private Ownership Scenarios, April 2015
    This document serves to update both the February 2014 Solid Waste Delivery Assurance Analysis and Options and September 2014 Waste Designation Process documents. It is intended to serve as an update to the material provided in those documents.
  • Waste Delivery & Project Governance Issues Presentation, September 2014
    Stoel Rives LLP reviewed the metro waste processing statute, metro statute litigation, implications of enforcement, waste designation benefits, waste designation costs, waste designation implementation timeline, waste designation process and governance options.
  • Waste Designation Process, September 2014
    The memorandum lays out potential costs and benefits of waste designation, as well as the associated steps and timelines.
  • Waste Processing Governance Policy Study, February 2015
    This policy study investigates the governance options available to the counties, describes the process to implement and consequences associated with each. 
  • White Paper - Financing Terms & Conditions, August 2015
    Outlines key issues to the financing option selected and terms and conditions related to the recommended financing option.