About metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES)

MCES exists to protect human health, protect the environment, and to support economic growth of the region. Our mission is to provide
wastewater services and integrated planning to ensure sustainable water quality and water supply for the region.


Canoeing on the river

Protects public

health and safety

Butterfly on flower

Protects the


Saint Paul Skyline

Fosters the economic

growth of the region


The Metro Plant treats up to 65% of the wastewater generated in the Twin Cities region and is MCES's largest wastewater treatment plant. The Metro
Plant was constructed in 1938 and has incinerated solids for 80 years with an exceptional track record of environmental compliance. The existing
incinerator system, with three fluidized-bed incinerators, has been operational since 2005.

Aerial of 2015 metro plant
Aerial of 1938 metro plant
Hover over the images below to find out more about how much liquids and solids the Metro Plant processes.

The Metro Plant treats 180 Million GALLONS of wastewater every day for 66 communities


  • 1 US BANK STADIUM Every 3 days
  • 1.8 MILLION BATHTUBS Every day

The Metro Plant processes 850 WET TONS of solids every day for 73 communities


  • 20 AIRPLANES Every day
  • 140 ELEPHANTS Every day
  • 420 MID-SIZE CARS Every day

Metro plant Location

The project is located at the Metro Plant, just southeast of downtown Saint Paul.
Solids from four other treatment plants are processed at the Metro Plant.

Plant location map


  • Andover
  • Anoka
  • Arden Hills
  • Birchwood
  • Blaine
  • Brooklyn Center
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Centerville
  • Champlin
  • Circle Pines
  • Columbia Heights
  • Columbus
  • Coon Rapids
  • Crystal
  • Dayton
  • Edina
  • Falcon Heights
  • Forest Lake
  • Fridley
  • Gem Lake
  • Golden Valley
  • Hilltop
  • Hopkins
  • Hugo
  • Inver Grove Heights
  • Lake Elmo
  • Landfall
  • Lauderdale
  • Lexington
  • Lilydale
  • Lino Lakes
  • Little Canada
  • Mahtomedi
  • Maple Grove
  • Maplewood
  • Medicine Lake
  • Medina
  • Mendota
  • Mendota Heights
  • Minneapolis
  • Mounds View
  • New Brighton
  • New Hope
  • Newport
  • North Oaks
  • North St. Paul
  • Oakdale
  • Osseo
  • Plymouth
  • Ramsey
  • Richfield
  • Robbinsdale
  • Rogers
  • Roseville
  • Shoreview
  • South St. Paul
  • Spring Lake Park
  • St. Anthony
  • St. Louis Park
  • St. Paul
  • St. Paul Park
  • Vadnais Heights
  • West St. Paul
  • White Bear Lake
  • White Bear TWP
  • Willernie
  • Woodbury
Metro Plant incinerator
Metro Plant is a model for sustainable
incineration in the wastewater community.


Click below to learn more about the benefits of incineration of wastewater solids at the Metro Plant.

Air Pollution Control

The fourth incinerator will be designed with state-of-the-art air pollution control equipment that removes 99% of particulates, heavy metals, and other air pollutants. This graph compares emission data from the Metro Plant incinerators, represented as percentage of the corresponding federal standard for new incinerators.

Metro Plant Incinerator Performance Compared to EPA Emissions Standards for New Fluidized Bed Incinerators

Air Emissions Chart

Low Odor

Incineration technology at the Metro Plant has been a key factor in reducing odors from the Metro Plant. The graphic below demonstrates that incineration burns wastewater solids at 1,375 deg F which eliminates odor and disease causing bacteria.

kills bugs animation


Energy Recovery

The incineration energy recovery system recovers enough energy to power 800 homes. The energy recovered is used in the plant and saves ratepayers $1.8 million per year. The graphic below is a animation of the steam turbine generator at the Metro Plant.

energy recovery animation

Minimal Trucking

Incineration reduces the quantity of material to be hauled off-site for disposal by 95-percent. The graphic below shows how 850 tons of wastewater solids (75 trucks per day) are incinerated down to 40 tons of inert ash (2 trucks per day).

minimal trucking graphic