Metro Plant aerial photo
Metro Plant Solids Management Improvements

project overview

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) owns and operates the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro Plant) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which uses three existing fluid bed incinerators to process wastewater solids. MCES proposes to continue sustainable incineration at the Metro Plant by adding a fourth incinerator followed by renewal of existing incineration facilities. The fourth incinerator will include supporting energy recovery and air pollution control equipment. The fourth incinerator will require a small addition to an existing building and will be constructed entirely within the Metro Plant property boundary.

Incineration process at Metro Plant


The Metro Plant needs additional solids processing capacity to:

Preserve existing wastewater treatment plant infrastructure

Planned renewal projects will require extended downtime of the existing incinerators.

Icon graphic showing the Metro Plant, a maintenance worker, and a graphic of an electrical plug exiting the plant and plugging into an energy symbol
Icon graphic of a bar chart where the bars are people icons growing in size to indicate population growth

Serve regional population growth


500,000 new residents in the Twin Cities Metro Plant service area by 2050.


Planning began in 2015 and MCES engaged in outreach in 2018 meeting with local and county governments, regulatory agencies, and
neighborhood groups. The Metropolitan Council approved the Facility Plan in October of 2018.

The fourth incinerator project will be delivered through a design build approach. Air permitting and preliminary design for the fourth
incinerator is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Design-build construction of the fourth incinerator is anticipated to be
completed by the end of 2027. Renewal of the existing incinerators is expected to be complete by the end of 2030.

Schedules Timeline Planning 2015 to 2019
2015                                                                                     PLANNING PROCESS                                                                                     2020

Develop Project




Develop Draft
Facility Plan


Public Outreach/
Public Hearing


Council Approved
Facility Plan

Read The Plan


The fourth incinerator is the most cost effective and sustainable alternative to meet the region’s wastewater needs.


It will have the lowest community impact and will improve the reliability of the wastewater treatment system.


The fourth incinerator will meet strict air emission standards, ensuring protection of human health and the environment.


A fourth incinerator will not generate additional odors or require land acquisition, providing the lowest impact to surrounding communities.


Incineration recovers enough energy to power 800 homes. The energy recovered is used in the plant and saves ratepayers $1.8 million per year.


Adding a fourth incinerator costs 50% less to construct, operate and maintain than any other solids processing alternative.


Greenhouse gas emissions are similar to other alternatives, insignificant compared to other industries and are offset through energy recovery.


The fourth incinerator will allow the Metro Plant to serve as backup to other MCES facilities, increasing reliability of the whole MCES system.


Click on the fact sheets below to learn more about specific topics related to the Metro Plant Solids Management Improvements Facility Plan.
Project Overview Brochure  Community Impact Fact Sheet  Air Emissions Fact Sheet