Trash FAQ

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to St. Louis County’s Solid Waste Management Program’s Implementation Plan. These questions and answers were compiled by the County’s Trash District Implementation Team.

What is the minimum level of service?
County Council ordinance requires all waste haulers operating in St. Louis County to provide the following, minimum service by Jan. 1, 2008: once a week waste collection, once a week recycling collection and twice-yearly bulk pickups in both municipalities and unincorporated St. Louis County.

What does once a week recycling collection include?

  • Households will be able to place all their recyclable trash into a single container (a process known as “single stream” recycling). Residents will not be required to separate their recyclable material into different containers.
  • Each household will receive its own recycling container by the first quarter of 2008. The container will be placed on the curb by the homeowner, from where it will be emptied by the hauler
  • Recyclable waste includes most garbage typically generated in a household – with the exception of Styrofoam, which can’t be accepted. Trash that can be recycled includes: aluminum cans, trays and foil (provided the trays and foil are cleaned), steel cans, glass jars and bottles, ketchup bottles and yogurt containers, laundry detergent containers, soda bottles, milk and juice cartons (paper and plastic), newspapers (without the plastic sleeve), brown paper bags, magazines and cereal, cake and food mix boxes.

Does this mean I have to recycle?
No, it merely means that all haulers must include recycling pickup in their basic or minimum service package to each customer. Each customer can then take advantage of it if they wish.

When will the trash districts become operational?
Trash districts would begin no later than September 1, 2008 throughout Unincorporated St. Louis County. At that time, all one- and two-family dwellings with curbside trash collection in each of our eight trash districts – with the exception of subdivisions that “opt out” of the program - will receive service from a single hauler.

How will St. Louis County determine the hauler that will service each district?
Early in 2008 St. Louis County will accept bids from haulers. Bidding will be conducted simultaneously for each of the eight districts. Bids must include a statement of the company’s basic qualifications and capacity (e.g., equipment, personnel, experience), a guarantee of at least a 10 percent senior citizen discount and a per-customer cost for the legally required minimum level of services and a per-customer cost for the optional service of yard waste removal. The option of twice a week pickup will be offered but not priced in the bid). St. Louis County will determine the district haulers based on the lowest responsive and responsible bid. One hauler will be assigned per district.

What happens if a district hauler doesn’t provide the service it’s supposed to?
If St. Louis County determines that a hauler is violating the terms of its bid/contract, the hauler will be given an opportunity to correct its service delivery. If it fails to do so, enhanced action can and will be taken to ensure that it does.

How can a subdivision “opt out”?
From November 2007 to February 1, 2008, residential neighborhoods with an active form of self-governance – a board of trustees, directors, condominium association, etc. that are governed by indentures – can remove themselves from the trash district program by certifying to the Director of St. Louis County’s Department of Public Works that:

  • They are empowered to act on behalf of the homeowners in their subdivision and a majority of trustees have signed the certification
  • A simple majority of homeowners want to “opt out”
  • All haulers operating in their subdivision provide St. Louis County’s minimum level of service (once a week recycling, once a week pick-up and two bulky pickups annually)
  • They have provided a complete list of all homes in their subdivision
  • They have provided a complete list of waste haulers operating in their subdivision

How many homes constitute a subdivision?
St. Louis County will not require subdivisions to contain a minimum number of homes to qualify for the “opt out” provision. For example, if a group of eight homes is indentured and represented by a board of trustees, we would consider the homes eligible for the opt out provision.

Will neighborhoods that have no active form of self-governance be eligible for the “opt out” provision?
No, these neighborhoods will not be eligible. Our implementation team debated this issue at length, but ultimately determined that St. Louis County could only make an accurate and fair review of “opt out” requests by interacting with a legally sanctioned governing body of homeowners, such as a board of trustees or condo association.

Where can my subdivision’s trustees obtain an “opt out” application and to whom do we send it?
“Opt out” forms may be picked up at any of our satellite offices, in the lobby of the County Government Center in Clayton (41 S. Central) or online under “News and Events at Completed forms must be returned to the manager of the Department of Public Works’ Division of Neighborhood Services by February 1, 2008. Address: 121 S. Meramec (sixth floor), Clayton, MO 63105.

Will my monthly trash bill increase because of the trash district program?
Until the trash haulers submit their district bids, individual district's per-household trash costs cannot be determined. We do, however, anticipate a slight fluctuation in existing costs, with some districts experiencing a decrease in their bill and others an increase.

How will I receive my bill and who will I pay?
Your hauler will bill you directly. You will pay your hauler directly.

Will the haulers be required to field customer calls/inquiries?:
Yes, every district hauler will be required to staff a six-day a week customer service department. Customers WILL NOT have to schedule service through St. Louis County.