University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
Types of Assistance

Project Information

Funded by: USDA Rural Development
MnTAP Team: Mick Jost, Anna Arkin, Linda Maleitzke
Project Dates: 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2014

Contact Information

Mick Jost
Program Coordinator
612.624.4694 | 800.247.0015

Anna Arkin
Solid Waste Specialist
612.624.0808 | 800.247.0015

Special Projects

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Project Overview

See A Waste Assessment In Action

Solid waste is a growing problem in Minnesota that impacts businesses, counties, and communities. In 2010, Minnesota generated 5.6 million tons of solid waste, including 196,000 tons of organic waste. Even though over 2.5 million tons were collected for recycling, the State of Minnesota, through a variety of action plans and goals, recognizes that solid waste remains a priority and must be reduced, reused, recycled, and managed properly.

To begin tackling the issue of solid waste in rural communities, the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota is partnering with government entities and civic organizations in 53 Minnesota counties to host
no-cost trainings and assessments for local government staff and the business community
. Our objective is to conduct ten events in communities with populations under 10,000. MnTAP is targeting these areas because businesses and county staff in smaller communities often do not have access to waste reduction resources offered to organizations closer to the metro area.


MnTAP has received an extension from the USDA Rural Development to continue this work  and to expand the scope of the project to include 14 counties in southern Minnesota. Counties covered under the grant now include: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Brown, Carlton, Cass, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Roseau, St. Louis, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin, Winona, and Yellow Medicine.

Solid Waste Trainings and On-Site Waste Assessments

MnTAP is seeking partners to co-host trainings and assessments for businesses, non-profits, and local governments throughout Minnesota. Partners could include: counties, cities, tribal entities, Chambers, Rotaries, and other civic organizations.


  • Trainings focus on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle more to reduce waste and save money
  • Flexible and customizable: can be conducted as a stand-alone event, a workshop at an existing event, or an introduction to our assessments


  • Through on-site waste assessments, MnTAP staff provide a facility walk-through and report with tailored recommendations on how an organization can improve waste reduction and diversion

Possible Training Topics

  • Intro to MnTAP
  • Waste 101
  • Source reduction and waste prevention
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Waste assessments and sorts - why and how
  • Self-audit skills
  • Managing organic wastes
  • Reuse and MN Materials Exchange
  • And more!

Past Event Partners

  • Becker County - March 2013
  • Cass County - March 2013
  • St. Louis County - April 2013
  • Pelican Rapids Rotary Club - July 2013
  • Otter Tail County and Perham Rotary Club - August 2013

MnTAP is a non-regulatory program in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and is funded by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator, provider, and employer.

This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the USDA Rural Development. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of USDA Rural Development.