The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1971 as the regional solid waste and wastewater authority for a 530 square mile service area in Northeastern Minnesota, along the North Shore of Lake Superior. WLSSD began operation in 1978 with a mission to protect the environment through proper waste management. All of the region's municipal and industrial sewage is treated at the WLSSD wastewater treatment facility in Duluth, producing clean water effluent that consistently meets state and federal standards for water quality. WLSSD operates a Materials Recovery Center, solid waste transfer station, organics composting site, and household hazardous waste (HHW) collection facility in Duluth; in addition to recycling sheds and HHW collections in several surrounding communities.
The WLSSD provides public education for many issues related to solid waste reduction and recycling; wastewater treatment, pollution prevention, and water quality; and many public interaction aspects of environmental education. The WLSSD has been recognized and noted as a national leader in many of these initiatives. There are numerous publications and informational guides on our website that address everything from garbage and recycling to composting, managing compact florescent light bulbs, and addressing household hazardous wastes. The WLSSD Environmental Program Team is made available to promote and educate community residents and businesses on existing programs and services, while always working on new programs (such as a recent ordinance on food waste recovery and composting) and materials that help facilitate the District goals.