MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The potential closure of a trash incinerator and metal recovery facility could send tons of extra waste to the Twin Cities’ landfills.

The Star Tribune reports that Great River Energy plans to close its Elk River waste-to-energy operation if the company can’t sell the facility. Anoka and Hennepin county commissioners say they’re reluctant to take over the project that’s had trouble staying afloat.

State environmental officials prefer burning refuse that can’t be recycled or composted instead of burying it. But officials say trash incinerators that serve the area are already operating at capacity so trash haulers will have few alternatives to landfills.

State regulators say four area landfills will likely reach capacity in six years if the Great River Energy burner is shuttered, which is two years earlier than anticipated.

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