With the growth of Twin Cities in the early 1900s, solid waste became a municipal concern. In many cases a “town dump” was established to bring order to the growing volume of residential waste that often posed a neighborhood sanitation and public health concern. “Burn barrels” were a way to reduce the volume of waste collecting in yards and hauled to the town dump.
After World War II, Anoka County communities experienced decades of rapid growth and a shift to disposable products. In 1973, Anoka County established a Solid Waste Management Ordinance. As a result, dumps were replaced by “sanitary landfills” regulated by Anoka County Environmental Services to reduce potential threats to human health and natural resources.
The growth of chemicals used in industrial processes created concern with hazardous wastes. In 1985 Anoka County established its Hazardous Waste Management Ordinance. Businesses and institutions are required to dispose of their hazardous wastes in a way that does not damage natural resources or pollute water.
In 1988 Anoka County established the Recycling and Resource Solutions Unit (originally Integrated Waste Management) to coordinate recycling and waste reduction with municipal and business partners. The trend from burying garbage to recycling and sustainable use continues:
- Two compost sites accept grass and leaves turning it into valuable compost for purchase.
- This year the compost sites are accepting and recycling organics (food and non-recyclable paper) in a container provided by RRS.
- Businesses are stepping up Commercial Recycling to meet a state mandate.
- The Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts residential hazardous waste at no charge.
- Three Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events are scheduled this fall.
- The Sheriff’s Prescription Drug Take Back Program is keeping drugs off our streets and out of our water resources.
For more information about recycling opportunities check out the Recycling and Disposal Directory of see Residential Recycling Opportunities in your community. For answers call Anoka County Recycling & Resource Solution at 763-323-5790.