There is established a program to encourage and assist cities, counties, solid waste management districts, and sanitary districts in the development and implementation of solid waste management projects and to transfer the knowledge and experience gained from such projects to other communities in the state. The program must be administered to encourage local communities to develop feasible and prudent alternatives to disposal, including waste reduction; waste separation by generators, collectors, and other persons; and waste processing. The commissioner shall administer the program in accordance with the requirements of sections 115A.49 to 115A.54 and rules promulgated under chapter 14. In administering the program, the commissioner shall give priority to projects in the order of preference of the waste management practices listed in section 115A.02. The commissioner shall give special consideration to areas where natural geologic and soil conditions are especially unsuitable for land disposal of solid waste; areas where the capacity of existing solid waste disposal facilities is determined by the commissioner to be less than five years; and projects serving more than one local government unit.