Facts about Freeway Landfill


The Freeway Landfill does not pose an imminent threat to the quality of the Minnesota River.

According to their own testing, and that of the MPCA, the Freeway Landfill does not now, nor has it ever posed an imminent threat to the quality of the water flowing down the Minnesota River. The landfill sits almost a football field away from the river and is graded so that whatever groundwater eventually drains toward the river does not enter the waste. In fact, a large portion of the groundwater under the landfill is being diverted away from the river to the Quarry Lake by dewatering pumps operated by Kraemer Quarry.


No dangerous contaminants have been seeping into the groundwater beneath the Freeway Landfill or Freeway Dump.

While MPCA testing has indicated that the landfill leaches some contaminants (like all landfills), the amounts have been so minute (some in parts per trillion) that the landfill has been proven not to contaminate the groundwater.


The longer the Freeway Landfill issue goes unresolved the smaller the risk of contaminating the groundwater beneath it becomes.

The Freeway Landfill has been closed to new waste dumping for over thirty years. As a result, the waste in the landfill has been steadily decomposing, diminishing any potential risk over the years. In addition, it has a dirt and vegetation cap on portions of it up to thirty feet deep, creating a natural barrier for rainwater and snow runoff.


Digging up and moving the Freeway Landfill’s contents to an adjacent landfill will not reduce the “risk” it poses.

A recent proposal before the Minnesota State Legislature would have allocated $165 million dollars to dig up the contents of the landfill and move it less than a mile away to the Burnsville Landfill, which is partially unlined, and sits on the same geologic limestone bed as Freeway Landfill. This effort would release noxious fumes and odors into the air and create a steady stream of waste truck traffic for months if not years. And it would add tons of open waste to the Burnsville Landfill’s current uncovered waste. In short, it could easily create more problems than it solves. And there is no funding allocated or available in the near future to undertake this effort.


The owners of the Freeway Landfill want to come to an agreement with the local cities and the state authorities.

The Freeway Landfill is a three-generation family-owned business. In fact, it is more than one business. It comprises the closed landfill, a concrete crushing and recycling business, a waste transfer business on-site, and the golf driving range on the east side of 35W. Michael McGowan and his son still get up every morning, operate the front loaders that keep the transfer business going, and responsibly maintain the rest of the property. Given the time and effort they’ve put into building and maintaining their business, the owners simply want a solution that treats and compensates them fairly and is good for the Burnsville community.


The landfill is not toxic and does not need to be condemned.

The groundwater underneath the Freeway Landfill is not toxic, and there is no risk of it becoming toxic. In fact, as the decades have gone by since the last waste was put in the landfill, the risk has diminished even more. Multiple years and methods of testing from multiple sources have continued to confirm this. Meanwhile, the City of Burnsville has valued the development of the Freeway Landfill at $735M, and the limestone under the property is also estimated to exceed $700M.