The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) has received a Waste-to-Energy Excellence Award at the Gold level from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management. HERC, located in downtown Minneapolis, provides reliable, renewable electricity that is sold to Xcel Energy and steam that supplies the downtown district energy system and Target Field. HERC is owned by Hennepin County and operated by Covanta Energy. To earn the award, HERC was judged on a wide variety of criteria, including engineering and technology, operational performance and efficiency, environmental compliance, aesthetics, other recycling and solid waste management programs in the county, public relations and education, and innovation and creativity. HERC is situated in a unique and highly visible urban location. With the construction of Target Field, new light rail, commuter rail and other mass transit projects, and residential and commercial redevelopment efforts, the neighborhood around the HERC has changed significantly since operations began more than 20 years ago. The county has also worked with community partners to ensure that HERC continues to be a good neighbor and an integral part of downtown redevelopment.