News Release                                                            For Immediate Release                                                April 7, 2015

                                                                                     Contacts:      Judy Hunter, Public Health and Environment Division                                                                                                               Washington County, (651) 430-4031,                                                                                                                  Judy.Hunter@co.washington.mn.us; or,

                                                                                                            Zack Hansen, Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health,                                                                                                              Ramsey County, (651) 266-1160, Zack.Hansen@co.ramsey.mn.us

Potential improvements to East Metro trash processing to be discussed at open houses in April

The Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project will conduct five open houses in April about ideas under consideration to get more value from trash, while protecting the environment and taxpayers, and growing jobs.

The open houses will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.:

  • Monday, April 20, in room 2317 of Century College, 3300 Century Avenue in White Bear Lake. Free parking is available in Lot G.
  • Tuesday, April 21, in the Marsden Room of the Ramsey County Department of Public Works building, 1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive in Arden Hills.
  • Thursday, April 23, in lower level conference room 14 at the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater.
  • Monday, April 27, at the Newport City Hall, 596 Seventh Ave., Newport.
  • Tuesday, April 28, in Auditorium A of the Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway N. in St. Paul.

The open houses will summarize studies conducted over the past two years, including:

  • a vision for how recycling and trash management can emerge in the next 20 to 30 years.
  • operational improvements at the Newport facility that handles most trash from the two counties, so that it could more efficiently remove accidentally discarded recyclables and, possibly, food waste.
  • new technologies that can derive value for hard-to-separate recyclables and food waste.
  • new technologies to derive greater value from shredded trash that is currently used to make electricity.
  • ownership options that may reduce the price of trash shredding services provided at the privately-owned Newport facility, of which Ramsey and Washington counties are the primary customers.
  • arrangements with local garbage companies that would ensure they continue to dump trash collected from their East Metro customers at the Newport facility.

The ideas being considered by Ramsey and Washington county commissioners do not involve organized trash collection. Trash collection is overseen by cities and towns, not counties.

The Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project is a joint powers board created by the two counties more than 25 years ago to work cooperatively on solid waste management issues. The project oversees joint efforts to meet state environmental goals in handling trash and recycling. Planning for future trash management is one way the two counties are finding more efficient ways to provide public services in recycling and waste management.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, see MoreValueLessTrash.com.

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