Twin Cities, MN region struggles with capacity for organic waste

By Cody Boteler, Waste Dive.

Compost facilities in the Twin Cities region are struggling with capacity and material management, as reported by the Star TribuneData from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows that food waste being composted in the region has nearly quadrupled since 2010.

Most compostable material in the region goes to just two facilities in the cities of Shakopee and Rosemount. Specialized Environmental Technologies (SET), the facility in Rosemount, is working to double its capacity for food waste, but Kevin Nordby, a co-owner of the company, appears pessimistic. "That capacity is basically going to be full as soon as I finish the construction," Nordby told the Star Tribune.

Nora Goldstein, editor of BioCycle, told Waste Dive these kinds of capacity challenges can happen depending on how well cities or regions prepare their organics infrastructure before implementing diversion goals. "But it's not necessarily like you need to step in and build 500-ton-a-day facilities," she said. "It's really looking at the capabilities and the infrastructure that you have. That's where it's this combination of anaerobic digestion and composting, in cities."