Hennepin County Board moves forward with plans to close Minneapolis trash incinerator

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to move forward with plans to close a trash incinerator in Minneapolis.

Earlier this year, FOX 9 heard from neighbors calling for the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC), which burns trash to create energy, who were calling for the facility to be shut down by 2025.

During Tuesday's meeting, commissioners approved a consent agenda item to direct the county administrator to create a plan to close the facility between 2028 and 2040. Along with the public pressure, a new state law also removed the facility's designation as a renewable energy source.

Commissioners supported the measure but one expressed concern that it may take until 2040 to close the facility.

"I think we all mentioned last week… that 2040 is just unacceptable," said Commissioner Angela Conley. "I've heard from several constituents that that is too long of a timeframe to wait."

As Conley pointed out, the 2040 date is significant as it will be the year when renewable energy standards will change.

Commissioner Kevin Anderson also pointed out another major issue: Dealing with the trash.

"We can't do this work alone… we've said this over and over and over again, and we need to make sure that we have our state partners, our city partners, and industry moving in the same direction to reduce the waste -- that we are tasked with processing," said Anderson. "You know, and landfilling, as has been said, isn't the answer to do this. Reducing the waste is the answer, and that's the only clear path forward to a sustainable future where we have clean air to breathe and our planet can survive."

Commissioners expect a report on the future of the HERC facility in the coming months.

The HERC is located along North 7th Street, just northwest of Target Field in Minneapolis' North Loop.