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Minnesota Best Practices - Managing Sweeping Debris

Minnesota Best Practices: Sustainable Management of Sweeping Debris

In the realm of environmental consciousness, Minnesota adheres to stringent best practices in managing “street” sweeping debris. At Scrub n Shine, we uphold these practices to ensure responsible disposal and reuse of materials, aligning with the guidelines set forth by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Sweeping Debris Unveiled

Contrary to potentially contaminated materials found in spill sites or hazardous waste cleanup, “sweeping debris” encompasses materials such as sand, salt, leaves, and general debris routinely cleared from surfaces like city streets, parking ramps, garages, and lots.

The Role of MPCA

MPCA takes the lead in regulating the disposal of sweeping debris, ensuring that materials from various sources are systematically tested for hazardous elements. If proven hazardous, the materials must be managed according to MPCA hazardous waste requirements.

The Second Life of Sweepings

Test results have demonstrated that sweeping debris from standard operations can be safely and acceptably reused in various areas. However, certain locations are off-limits, such as playgrounds, children’s play areas, and residential yards. Additionally, sweeping debris must not be disposed of in or near wetlands or surface water.

Preparation for Reuse

Before sweepings find their second life, meticulous steps must be taken. Trash, leaves, and debris must be meticulously removed, either through recycling, composting, or disposal at a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill (MSW) after screening.

Screens and Standards

Screening sweepings is crucial for their reuse. A ¾-inch mesh screen is recommended for the final screening to ensure all debris is removed. Screened sweepings, if properly managed, are exempt from Minnesota solid waste storage standards.

Versatile Reuse

Screened sweepings can be reused in several ways without MPCA approval:

  • Winter Applications: Mix with new salt/sand for winter application to roads, parking lots, or sidewalks.
  • Landfill Cover: Use as daily cover material at a permitted solid waste landfill.
  • Development Projects: Utilize in commercial and industrial development projects, road restoration, or construction projects.

Guidelines for Responsible Reuse

For each type of reuse, specific guidelines must be followed, including maintaining separation distances, checking local regulations, and seeding the area with grass mixture to prevent erosion.

In-Depth Resources

For those seeking a deeper understanding of Minnesota’s sweeping debris best practices, the Metropolitan Council offers a comprehensive report titled “Best Practices: Street Sweepings.” This document provides valuable insights into efficient and economical sweeping operations.

Choose Responsible Practices with Scrub n Shine

At Scrub n Shine, we prioritize sustainability and responsibility in managing sweeping debris. Contact us to discuss how we can implement these best practices in your specific situation. Together, let’s contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

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