The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC), located in downtown Minneapolis, is a waste-to-energy facility that burns garbage to generate energy. Residents and businesses in Hennepin County generate almost 1 million tons of garbage every year. Processing waste at HERC is the most environmentally preferable way to deal with waste that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.
About 365,000 tons of garbage is burned at HERC to provide enough electricity for 25,000 homes each year. Electricity generated at HERC is sold to Xcel Energy. HERC also provides enough steam for the annual natural gas needs of 1,500 homes to buildings in downtown Minneapolis and Target Field.