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Earth Day Groundbreaking

Video call with participants in hard hats

On Earth Day – April 22 – Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy (R&E) hosted a virtual groundbreaking event to celebrate the start of construction for processing improvements at the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center (R&E Center).

Ramsey and Washington county commissioners and leadership and City of Newport, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and current and former county and R&E staff celebrated groundbreaking during a virtual event.

The R&E Center processes all trash from residents and businesses in Ramsey and Washington counties, which is about 13% of the state’s trash. Processing improvements will increase the recovery of materials with value from the trash, creating jobs, reducing carbon emissions and protecting health and environment for current and future generations.

Processing improvements at the R&E Center include:

  • Building expansion and installation of equipment to enable the collection of food scraps from residents’ homes so this material can be recycled. Learn more about this program here.
  • Equipment to recover additional recyclable materials, including metals, plastics and cardboard. To cite just one material, approximately 400,000 aluminum cans will be recovered from the trash per day.

These improvements to the R&E Center are possible thanks to the help of state investment. Twenty-four union jobs will be created with the new systems, and nearly 64,000 tons of recyclables and organic material that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated will be recovered annually. Processing improvements are expected to be in operation in 2023.

Along with continued investments in reduction, reuse and recycling, these improvements move the two counties closer to R&E’s vision of “vibrant, healthy communities without waste.”