Several landfills and former landfills pepper the Twin Cities landscape. Formerly called “dumps” these sites are the resting place of garbage being collected across the metropolitan area. The more modern of these sites are encased in clay to prevent groundwater and soil contamination. They also contain reclamation systems in attempts to capture methane being released during the decomposition process.


List of Current Landfills

Burnsville Sanitary Landfill, 2650 Cliff Rd W Burnsville, MN.

Elk River Landfill, 22460 US-169, Elk River, MN.

Pine Bend Sanitary Landfill, 2495 117th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN.

Waste Disposal Engineering (WDE) landfill, Andover, Anoka County, MN. Consists of 122 acres; began in 1971.


List of Closed Landfills

Anoka-Ramsey Landfill, Anoka, MN; 46.8 acres. – closed

Crosby American Properties Landfill, 50.9 acres. – closed

Flying Cloud Landfill, Eden Prairie, MN; 236.2 acres. – closed

Freeway East Dump, Burnsville, MN. – closed

Freeway Landfill, Burnsville, MN. – closed

Hopkins Landfill, Hopkins, MN. – closed

Johnson Brothers Landfill – closed

Lindenfelser Landfill – closed

Louisville Landfill – closed

Oak Grove Landfill; 148.8 acres. – closed

Washington County Landfill, 25 acres; operated 1969-1975. – closed

Waste Disposal Engineering Landfill; 112.1 acres. – closed

Woodlake Landfill – closed


Flying Cloud Landfill, Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Flying Cloud Airport is top-left (north west). [screenshot from Google Earth, 2020].


Downtown Garbage Incinerator

Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC), 505 N 6th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405. Aka, the Garbage Burner.


Minneapolis Garbage Statistics

“In 2019, a total of 138,816 tons (down from 141,450 tons in 2018) of material were collected by Solid Waste & Recycling. This includes excess garbage and construction and demolition debris brought to the South Transfer Station. The breakdown of waste is as follows:

  • Waste to Energy: 57.91%
  • Recycled 20.29%
  • Composted: 17.98%
  • Landfilled (C&D from Transfer Station): 3.81%

[Source: Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling, 2020]. Read More.


Additional Resources

A History of Twin Cities Drinking Water Contamination (with map). Read More.

Hazardous Sites & Substances, Minnesota Department of Health. Read More.

Trash heaps pile up in Dinkytown. [The Minnesota Daily, by Ashley Goetz,