St. Louis County will begin restricting use of solid waste drop-off sites to residents only.  The move follows an increase of traffic at the sites from neighboring counties.  To counter-act the situation, the St. Louis County Solid Waste and Septic Subcommittee held an emergency meeting on April 22 to vote to stop accepting solid waste from residents living outside the St. Louis County Solid Waste Management Area - with the exception of the Northwoods Transfer Station in Ely.  The action will stay in place for the duration of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's Emergency Executive Orders.

The last few weeks, the county solid waste drop-off sites have seen a significant increase in traffic; some of it has been the result of people staying home and cleaning out their house and garage - creating a larger amount of waste than usual.  However, operators have seen a large number of people coming from neighboring counties to use the service.    While the sites are considered an essential service that needs to remain open, this increase is cause for concern - both to minimize public interaction and for the safety of visitors and staff.

Residents of the county's Solid Waste Management Area pay a fee for this service as part of their property taxes. The Environmental Services Department provides solid waste services for all of St. Louis County with the exception of that area served by the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District.

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