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The R&E Center

R&E Center staff member checking mirror on truck

Community


Being a good neighbor is important to us. Numerous improvements have been made at the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center (R&E Center) to improve appearance of the site, address odors, and better visitors’ experience. This includes increasing litter control, installing a new odor removal system, landscaping and enclosing all operations.

Vouchers

Every Newport household receives a voucher for free disposal of one bulky item (couch, appliance, tire, etc.) each year. Vouchers are distributed in the City of Newport’s spring newsletter to residents. Bring your voucher and item to dispose of to the R&E Center for free disposal. Additional items can be disposed of for a fee.

Education

Renovations underway at the R&E Center include new educational space and a redesigned tour program. Once complete, residents, community groups and schools can visit and learn about how waste is managed in the region and how to better reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Virtual tours are available as well. Click here to learn more.

Staff are also available to present at community meetings about what happens at the R&E Center. Contact us at info@recyclingandenergy to schedule.

Odor

Think about how your garbage cart smells on a hot day. Smelly, right? As garbage sits in your trash cart and is managed at the R&E Center, gases are produced, including hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs. Since Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy (R&E) purchased the R&E Center in 2016, R&E has taken steps to reduce or eliminate the release of odors from the R&E Center property to minimize impacts on nearby communities, including:

  • Addition of odor removal technology – Equipment installed in the facility uses OMI Ecosorb® to break down and neutralize odor molecules.
  • Installation of tipping floor doors and enclosing of operational areas – Doors to all areas of the facility are kept closed as much as possible to contain odors.
  • Treatment of surfaces – Outdoor surfaces are treated with odor neutralizer to address liquids that may cause odors.
  • Installation of weather monitoring station – The facility’s weather monitoring station allows the R&E Center to adjust operations to prioritize odor mitigation in weather conditions most likely to result in odor in surrounding communities.
  • Regular odor monitoring – Staff and contractors regularly monitor odor on and off site. When odors are detected, facility operations and OMI equipment are immediately adjusted to reduce odor.
Routine Odor Monitoring

R&E conducts routine odor monitoring at six locations in Newport. Monitoring occurs at a minimum once a week, including some weekends, November-April and at least twice a week, including some weekends, May-October. Additional odor monitoring occurs when weather conditions are most likely to result in garbage odors and in the event of odor complaints.

In 2020, the R&E Center did not have any odor detections above the City of Newport’s ordinance-permitted level of 7 D/T (D/T is a unit of odor assessment). Of R&E’s 575 odor inspections conducted in 2020, only 10.61% (61) detected a garbage odor, with the highest level at 4 D/T.

Odor-Producing Facilities in the Area

Thirteen other Minnesota Pollution Control Agency air-permitted facilities operate within a one-mile radius of the R&E Center, including operations such as animal rendering, hide processing and tanning, a veterinary hospital crematorium, large-scale composting, and large-scale food production. Each of these facilities has its own unique odors.

Odor Complaints

If you would like to file an odor complaint, please use the City of Newport’s Odor Complaint Form. Filing a complaint helps us identify and correct odor issues that may be from the R&E Center.