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Andy Skoogman, Director of Communications
Doug Neville  651-201-7562
March 24, 2010

ST. PAUL — Sorting various types of waste is especially important during cleanup following a flood according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).  Sorting waste expedites cleanup and is important for public safety as well as for proper waste management to protect the environment.

While Minnesotans will be eager to start the cleanup as soon as possible, the MPCA says it’s very important to remember to separate the waste for efficient disposal.


Flood waste should be sorted into the following five categories.  Waste in each of these categories will be disposed of at the appropriate facility:

  • Demolition debris, including any part of a building structure, bricks, cement, lumber, plasterboard, window glass, shingles, pipes, wiring and carpeting left in the building, goes to MPCA-approved demolition landfills.
  • Household hazardous wastes,including automotive products (gas, oil, antifreeze, parts cleaners), household cleaners (bleach; ammonia; oven, kitchen and toilet cleaners) and mercury-containing items (thermostats, thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs), paints and paint thinners, lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides, swimming pool chemicals, batteries, gas cylinders and oil-soaked sorbent, will be managed by local household hazardous waste programs.
  • Large appliances or “white goods,” such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers, microwave ovens, TVs, and computers and monitors, will be recycled by MPCA-approved vendors.
  • Woody waste ― trees and shrubs, branches, stumps, logs and brush ― are disposed of at local compost facilities.
  • Regular household garbage, such as food, paper, furniture, bedding, clothing, papers, books and magazines, small appliances, cookware and dishes, and carpeting removed from a building, is disposedof at sanitary landfills or refuse incinerators in compliance with county solid waste management plans.

Questions about flood-related waste disposal should be directed to local emergency operation centers or county solid waste officers.  Phone numbers of county solid waste officers and locations of household hazardous waste facilities can be found at


Any spill of home heating fuel or other potentially harmful chemical should be reported by calling the Minnesota State Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.


Broadcast version

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency urges Minnesotans whose homes have been flooded to sort floodwater-damaged items in such a manner that any risk to public health or impact on the environment is minimized.  If you have questions about flood-related waste disposal, call your local emergency operation center or county solid waste officer.


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