The Department of Environmental Services is committed to protecting the environment and conserving resources for future generations. Our programs focus on the reduction and responsible management of wastes, the protection of natural resources and the promotion of environmental stewardship.
- Carl Michaud, Director
- David McNary, Assistant Director, Solid Waste Division
- Rosemary Lavin, Assistant Director, Environmental Protection Division
Environmental Services programs
Waste reduction and recycling
- Implement programs to encourage residents and businesses to create less waste.
- Distribute all Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment funds received from the State of Minnesota to cities in the county in the form of recycling grants. Most cities operate their own comprehensive recycling programs.
- Work with cities, schools and businesses to expand recycling programs to include organic wastes, such as food and non-recyclable paper.
Properly managing hazardous waste
- Operate two drop-off facilities and host seasonal events for residents to properly dispose of hazardous items.
- Collaborate with other local units of government, retailers and electric utilities to manage consumer electronics, batteries and fluorescent bulbs.
- License, inspect and enforce state rules for businesses that generate hazardous waste.
- Respond to emerging hazardous waste issues, such as pharmaceutical waste, mercury-containing products and health care wastes.
- Utilize waste-to-energy technology to manage non-recyclable garbage in the most environmentally friendly way.
- Supply steam to the district heating system to provide renewable energy to downtown Minneapolis and Target Field.
Air, energy and climate protection
- Manage the natural resource inventories database and use the data to help local governments develop comprehensive plans.
- Provide financial and technical assistance to landowners and local governments to implement best management practices to preserve and restore critical habitats, reduce erosion, and protect and improve water quality.
- Manage student and adult volunteers to monitor water quality and wetland health, collect data and promote stewardship.
- Assess and clean up contaminated land by working cooperatively with municipalities, and private and non-profit entities to provide technical and financial resources, along with several local and federally funded grant programs.
- Administer two programs – the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund and the Environmental Response Fund, to provide financial assistance for the investigation and cleanup of contaminated properties for redevelopment to return properties back to the tax rolls.
Environmental education and outreach
- Work with cities, community groups and the media to raise awareness of our programs and actions that protect the environment.
- Provide environmental education resources for community partners and formal and non-formal educators.