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Composting Rule Update. Tim Farnan December CISRR/ARM Meeting. Why Compost. Composting Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Organic material in landfills creates methane and leachate . Finished compost sequesters carbon and supports healthy plants.

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Composting rule update

Composting Rule Update

Tim Farnan

December CISRR/ARM Meeting

Why compost
Why Compost

  • Composting Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

    • Organic material in landfills creates methane and leachate.

    • Finished compost sequesters carbon and supports healthy plants.

  • Composting turns waste products into a valuable product.

  • Compost is a beneficial soil amendment that reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides and uses water more efficiently.

  • Lots of waste is compostable – close to 40% of current trash could be composted

Recycling organics goals
Recycling & Organics Goals

  • Statute 115A.551 calls for achieving a 50% recycling rate in the metro area and a 35% rate in greater Minnesota

  • Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG) in 2008 recommended a statewide goal of 60 percent recycling and 15 percent organics recycling by 2025.

  • Metro Policy Plan calls for organics recovery of 9%-15% by 2030

How are we doing currently
How are we doing currently?

  • 45.1% statewide recycling rate in 2011

    • Recycling calculation includes 249,948 tons of organics recovered

  • 4.4% of MSW in MN was recovered through organics recycling in 2011

  • Organics recycling includes: food to people, food to livestock, composting

Purpose of rule process
Purpose of Rule Process

  • Recognize state strategy of moving organic material management up the hierarchy

  • Clarify regulatory requirements

    appropriate to SSOM composting facilities

  • Provide regulatory relief without

    jeopardizing environmental protection

Current rule structure
Current Rule Structure

Yard Waste


MSW Compost


Permit By Rule

Solid Waste Permit

New rule structure
New Rule Structure

Yard Waste

Source Separated Organics


MSW Compost

New Category

  • SSO sites will also require a solid waste permit

  • Definition of Backyard Compost Expanding

  • No changes to Yard Waste or MSW

Goals considerations
Goals & Considerations

  • Source Separated Organic Material (SSOM) must be source separated at the generator, not picked from Mixed Municipal Solid Waste (MMSW) at a transfer station or a landfill

  • Goal is not to develop excessively prescriptive standards, but outcome-based ones that are matched to the needs and any environmental or health risk

Process for stakeholder input
Process for stakeholder input

  • Three meetings were held to gather stakeholder input: November 2010, October 2011 and February 2012.

  • Two informal requests for comments were sought: July of 2010, October of 2011.

  • Accepted and considered email comments to rule team members throughout process.

  • A formal public comment period will take place Beginning on January 6th

How about contact water instead of leachate?

Draft rule provisions
Draft Rule Provisions

  • 5’ Feet to water table required

    • Definition of ‘water table’ clarified in most recent draft

  • Options for pad depend on site conditions

    • Gravel pad is acceptable with appropriate soil conditions

    • Concrete, Asphalt, Liner or approved method required if soil conditions are not met

  • Material can be moved off the pad in shorter period of time

  • Training and operational requirements included

  • Expansion of small site/backyard to include up to 80 cubic yards

View the rule
View the Rule

  • Full draft rule is currently available on agency website (search “compost rule”)

  • SONAR will be released during comment period

  • Rule text appears on pages 213-232 of “Compost Rule Meeting Minutes” under “Agendas and meeting notes”

Rule schedule
Rule Schedule

Critical Dates:

  • State Register Public Notice – December 2013

  • Estimated Completion

    • ~3 months after dual notice without contested hearing

    • ~ 6 months after dual notice with contested hearing

Dual notice
Dual Notice

  • Scheduled to begin January 6th

  • Open for 60 days

  • Comments must be provided in writing to MPCA before the closing date.

  • Substantive changes after dual notice require approval from Administrative Law Judge

Stay informed
Stay Informed

Sign up for the GovDelivery List at:

Step 1

Step 2



Technical questions in the following areas should be routed to:

  • Rule content — Technical expert on engineering — Tony Bello, 651-757-2219,

  • Rule content — Subject matter/ operations – Tim Farnan, 651-757-2348,

  • Rule process questions — Yolanda Letnes, 651-757-2527,