Minneapolis plans to reopen northside waste facility to reduce illegal dumping

Bales of plastic bottles.
Sorted plastics are put into bales at the Eureka Recycling plant in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Public Works Department has secured a $4 million federal grant that will resuscitate another waste and recycling facility — the North Transfer Station in north Minneapolis.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News 2019

The Minneapolis Public Works Department secured a $4 million federal grant that will resuscitate the North Transfer Station, a waste and recycling facility in north Minneapolis. The Environmental Protection Agency and Mayor Jacob Frey announced the plan for the facility Wednesday morning.

The city will also invest $3 million into the station. The facility would address long-standing challenges in the surrounding area, where Frey said there is a high volume of illegal dumping.

The proposed transfer station allows residents to self-haul items such as mattresses and clothes to the facility.

“This grant will also help us reach our zero waste goals and divert items like clothing, excess recycling ... even home construction debris out of landfills. So rather than put these huge, hugely polluting sources into landfills, we're going to find ways to divert and to recycle them,” Frey said.

In a grant application, city officials said an operational waste and recycling center in north Minneapolis would provide equitable access to self-hauling options and reduce illegal dumping in the neighborhood. Currently, the city’s self-haul program has operated out of the South Transfer Station on 20th Avenue South.

“The North Transfer Station has the capacity to become a local resource for proper waste disposal, but has remained unusable while the surrounding area has the highest number of reported illegal dumping incidents month over month,” the grant application said.

Customers are allowed up to six vouchers for household waste as part of the self-haul program. Each voucher covers up to 2,000 pounds of material, per load, and up to two large recyclable items. Customers are allowed up to two vouchers for tires, up to eight tires per year. Customers that exceed the limits are subject to additional charges and the program is open to non-solid waste and recycling customers on a pay-per-use basis.

The city aims to reopen the transfer station on Pacific Street in 2026.

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