Recycling rates in major cities throughout Minnesota reveal one of the better states in the nation in terms of waste management. Yet, there is still plenty of room for improvement. According to the most recent study, Minnesota’s statewide recycling rate of 43.6 percent eclipses the 2015 national average of 34.7 percent. Part of Minnesota’s success can be attributed to the creation of specific goals and strategies. By 2030, Minnesota plans to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate for counties in the Twin Cities Metro area and a 35 percent rate in Greater Minnesota by 2030.
Over the last decade, clean energy has grown by leaps and bounds. Technologies that can help America shift away from fossil fuels — like solar panels, wind turbines, LED light bulbs, energy storage and electric cars — have gone from novelties to core features of the nation's energy landscape.
Solar power is expanding rapidly. The United States now has over 53 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed – enough to power 10.1 million homes and 26 times as much capacity as was installed at the end of 2010. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have invested in solar energy and millions more are ready to join them.
Over a 21-month period from January 2016 to September 2017, major industrial facilities released pollution that exceeded the levels allowed under their Clean Water Act permits more than 8,100 times. Often, these polluters faced no fines or penalties.
The adoption of large numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) offers many benefits for cities, including cleaner air and the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles are far cleaner than gasoline-powered cars, with lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower emissions of the pollutants that contribute to smog and particulate matter.
Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.