Commissioners voice support to buy Newport Facility.  

On August 27, 2015, the Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project Board (Board) took a significant step towards improving the environment and achieving their common vision to increase recycling and get the most value out of trash by taking an action to recommend that the counties purchase the Facility in Newport. On a series of 7-1 votes, the Board recommended county board approval of the purchase agreement, joint powers agreement, financing plans, and actions related to waste assurance and contracting. The respective County Boards confirmed the Board’s decision at their September 22, 2015 meetings.  The Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project Board has been renamed to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy Board (R&E Board). 

The contract with the current private owner of the facility expires at the end of 2015 and the counties have an exclusive right to purchase the facility.  For more than two years, commissioners of both counties have been studying how the facility in Newport could be used along with new technologies to modernize the East Metro’s trash handling system. A system that maximizes the use of trash as a resource, to the benefit of taxpayers, households and businesses.  To this end, the top priority moving forward is to increase recycling at homes and businesses, in order to meet and exceed a 75 percent recycling goal set by the state. And, looking at the next 20 to 30 years, expand on our successes and build a modern trash management system that makes use of new technologies that permit us to get even more value out of trash.

After weighing the pros and cons of purchasing and owning the Newport facility, the R&E Board determined that public ownership offers numerous benefits, including ensuring that small and mid-sized trash hauling companies can compete and support jobs in the East Metro. Importantly, it would provide a foundation for making the changes to derive greater value from trash.

Evaluation Findings

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