MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesotans are throwing away more food and more plastic these days. And that’s discouraging to officials who say valuable resources are being wasted that could create jobs if they were recycled instead.
A new Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report compares data on what Minnesotans are putting into the garbage with a similar study in 2000.
It says the amount of organic material Minnesotans throw away — primarily food —has grown to 31 percent of the waste stream, a 21 percent increase since 2000. And the amount of plastic Minnesotans trash has increased from 11 percent of the waste stream to 18 percent.
MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine says the report is a wake-up call. He says the numbers suggest Minnesotans aren’t living up to their reputation for environmental stewardship.