Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to section:

Fees

How much is the solid waste services fee (i.e., trash fee)?

Per Ordinance #70579, passed in July 14, 2017, the fee is $14 per month per dwelling unit.

Back to Fees | Back to top

What services do I get for this fee?

The City has a comprehensive solid waste services program that provides citizens with an exceptional residential trash service at a low cost. City solid waste services include twice weekly collection (one trash and one recycling pick up), weekly collection of yard waste during "yard waste" season, and monthly pickup of bulky items (furniture, appliances, tires, waste motor oil, car batteries, etc.). There is NO extra charge for any of the above services-all are included in the Solid Waste Services Fee of $14 per month per Dwelling Unit.

Back to Fees | Back to top

When is bulk waste picked up?

The schedule for bulk pickup varies by neighborhood. Please visit https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/planning/documents/bulk-refuse-pickup-schedule-map.cfm for the schedule.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Can I pay less if I don't use all of the above services?

The solid waste services fee is a flat fee for a package of City solid waste services and are one of the best values in the region. The fee is lower than fees charged in most areas surrounding the City, and includes more frequent and varied trash/refuse, yard waste, and bulk waste services. The flat fee is the most efficient approach.

Back to Fees | Back to top

How is the City authorized to collect this fee?

Ordinance #70579, passed in July 14, 2017.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Who is responsible for paying the solid waste services fee?

The customer and property owner are both responsible for paying the solid waste services fee. Since the City assumes that if your dwelling unit(s) has active water service, the unit(s) is capable of being occupied, we have designated the entity that pays the water bill as the customer, and this customer will receive one billing statement including both water service fees and solid waste services fees. If the customer does not pay these fees, the property owner is responsible.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Do I have to pay the fee if I rent?

It depends. If the water bill is in your name, the solid waste services bill will also be in your name. If your landlord pays the water bill, the solid waste services bill will also be in the landlord's name. If so, it is likely that the landlord will pass the solid waste services fee along to you as an increase in rent, if so, you will in effect be paying the fee.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Do I have to pay the fee if I live in a condominium?

If your condominium uses City solid waste services, someone has to pay the City solid waste services fee with respect to your condominium. In some situations, if your condominium association pays the water bill for all of the condominium units in the property, the condominium association will pay the bill, but since you pay condominium assessments in effect you are paying the fee.

In other situations, if you receive a separate water bill for your condominium, you will also receive a bill for, and must pay, the solid waste services fee. If, as many associations do, your condominium association contracts with a licensed private hauler that provides adequate solid waste services, neither you nor your condominium association needs to pay the City's solid waste services fee.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Do I have to pay the solid waste fee if my property is vacant, one unit is vacant, or I haul my own trash away?

If your property has an active water service, the City assumes that your property is habitable and is producing solid waste that requires collection and disposal. So, yes, you do have to pay the fee. The Refuse Division will entertain appeals with respect to this assumption but in order to "win" such an appeal you will have to demonstrate that the property is not producing solid waste that is collected or disposed of by the City. Typically, all properties, even vacant properties, produce solid waste-the grass must be mowed, and this generates yard waste that is picked up by the City unless you have a private hauler, and as tenants move in and out of dwelling units they and their landlords generate solid waste. If, however, you are an owner-occupant of a two-family dwelling unit, and you are the only occupant of that building and can demonstrate that one of the units is permanently vacant, it is likely that the City will look favorably upon your appeal. For information on how to appeal, please contact the Citizens' Service Bureau at 314-622-4800.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Are there discounts from the fee? Is there a discount for seniors?

No discounts are offered under the current ordinance. We believe that at $14 per dwelling unit, the City's undiscounted fee is lower than the discounted fees charged in the jurisdictions surrounding the City.

Back to Fees | Back to top

I am going away for a long time and will not be using my trash service. Can I put a hold on or "suspend" my trash service?

Trash service can only be discontinued if (a) you are gone for more than 90 days; and (b) you turn off your water service while you are gone. To turn off your water service, you may call 314-771-2255. But please note that you will have to pay a fee to reconnect your water service when you return. And, if you have a service that takes care of your yard while you are gone, the service will not be permitted to use the City's yard waste dumpsters if you are not paying for City solid waste services. You may decide it is more economical to leave your water service on and continue to pay the City's relatively modest fees for trash service during your absence.

Back to Fees | Back to top

I don't have trash-I take it to work, recycle everything.

If you choose to use private trash collection service of any kind, even if that means disposing of your trash in your employer's dumpster or at a home outside the City, you must provide proof to the Refuse Commissioner. If you "bring your trash to us," the City must still pay landfill costs and operate a transfer station, so this will not relieve you of the charge. If you believe you can prove you take all of your trash to a county address or to your employer's disposal facilities, or that you do not produce any solid waste that must be collected/disposes of, we would be happy to review your proof.

Back to Fees | Back to top

What if I have private trash service? Is there an alternative to paying or being charged the fee?

You may contract with a private company that is licensed to haul and dispose of solid waste in the City. The contract must comply with Refuse Division policy and the Refuse Division must determine that the services included in the private contract are adequate for the collection of all solid waste. Once the City is satisfied that you do in fact have adequate private solid waste services, you will no longer be billed for the City's services. However, if you do not maintain the private services, the City will resume its services and you will be billed. A licensed haulers list is available from the Refuse Division.

A request to cancel City services due to a switch to private services should be submitted as soon as possible prior to the requested cancellation date. The request and an originally signed contract with a licensed private hauler must be submitted to the Refuse Commissioner-call the Citizens' Service Bureau at 314-622-4800 to request an application. The request must include the building's physical address, the name and address of the owner of the property, the requestor's mailing address if different from the owner's address, the total number of residential units in the building, and the date intended for private solid waste collection and disposal services to commence. The contract must confirm the date on which the private hauler will begin collecting residential solid waste from the property and a description of the services that will be provided by the hauler. The Refuse Commissioner will review the contract to determine its adequacy. An acceptable recycling plan will also be required.

The City will inspect the property when private service is scheduled to commence to confirm that appropriate equipment is in place to store the solid waste until it is collected, and will also inspect the property thereafter to confirm that the waste is in fact being collected. Once the City verifies that solid waste equipment and services are place on the property, the customer will receive confirmation that City services have been cancelled and the customer will receive credit in the next billing cycle for any full month during the billing period in which services were privately provided. Thereafter, the customer will not be charged for City solid waste services for the property unless the City determines that private services are no longer being provided to the property or that dwelling units at the property otherwise are continuing to use City Services.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Why do I have to pay for yard waste service that I don't use/need-bulk/automotive battery, motor oil, appliance, tires?

You are paying $14 per month for a complete solid waste collection and disposal service package. The fee being charged by the City is less than the cost of providing this service. All dwelling units typically produce solid waste although the types of waste will naturally vary from dwelling unit to dwelling unit. While you may produce less yard waste than your neighbor, you may produce more regular or recyclable solid waste than your neighbor-and the amounts of each type of waste that you and your neighbors produce will vary from week to week. And while you may not have bulk waste each week, it is likely that at some point each year you will have something-an obsolete appliance, a broken piece of furniture, or a lawnmower that won't run. The City of St. Louis provides one comprehensive service that will address all residents' needs.

Back to Fees | Back to top

I own a business/commercial property. Can I contract with the City for waste removal?

No. The City only provides services to residential customers.

Back to Fees | Back to top

What if my property has both commercial and residential uses?

The City does not provide Solid Waste Services for non-residential uses. Any property used in whole or in part for non-residential purposes that generates solid waste of any must have private solid waste collection and disposal services and is prohibited from using City containers for solid waste disposal from the non-residential uses. If a property has a mix of non-residential/residential uses, the City suggests that residential tenants be instructed to use the private hauler's container. Once residential tenants are told to use the private container, property managers/owners should notify the Refuse Division (see "What if I have private trash service?" above). If the Refuse Commissioner determines that the arrangements made with the licensed private hauler are adequate, City services for the residential dwelling units at the location will be discontinued and charges will cease unless the City determines that private services are no longer being provided to the property or that the property's residential dwelling units are continuing to use City services. It is the customer's and property owner's responsibility to ensure that residential tenants of mixed use properties use the services of the private licensed hauler and not City Services.

Back to Fees | Back to top

Billing and Payment

When will I get the new bill? How often do I receive a bill? When is payment due?

Solid waste services fees and your water fees will be on the same bill. The bill will clearly and separately state solid waste services fees.

Water service fees are billed in "cycles" and solid waste services fees will also be billed in cycles. You will receive your solid waste services fee bill at the same time as you now receive your water bill.

Cycles 1, 2 and 3 include residential "flat rate" water customers, and bills are sent on the eighth of the month. These cycles include most buildings that are single-family through four-family residences. If you do not have a water meter, you will be in Cycle 1, 2 or 3. Payment is due, with the payment for your water service, 15 days after the billing date.

The other cycles include customers with water meters. Payment is due, with the payment for your water service, 15 days after the billing date.

Back to Billing & Payment | Back to top

How/where can I pay the fee?

You can pay your solid waste services fees at the same places and in the same ways as you pay your water bills. A listing of your payment options can be found at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/collector/general-information.cfm. These options are the following:

  • By mail/check -- be sure to include the payment stub from your bill!
    Mail check to:
    Gregory F.X. Daly
    Collector of Revenue, City of St. Louis
    PO Box 66787
    St. Louis, MO 63166-6787
  • Via direct deposit: Call 314-622-4179 to make arrangements. Customers who are already enrolled in the direct-payment program do not need to re-enroll. These customers should have received a letter from the Collector about how to authorize additional direct-payment. There are no additional charges or enrollment fees for the refuse bill direct-payment program.
  • By credit/debit/ACH: Visit PayItStLouis.com. There is a 2.45% transaction fee for credit cards and a $1.25 fee for ACH transactions. You can also call 314-408-6887.
  • In person: At the Collector of Revenue's office in 109 City Hall (SW corner of Tucker & Market Streets).

The payment options listed above are the preferred payment options. You may also pay your water services fees and solid waste services fees at SOME local Schnuck's and Dierberg's stores, but the store will charge an additional fee -- contact your local store for details.

Back to Billing & Payment | Back to top

What happens if I don't pay my solid waste services bill/pay late?

If you do not pay your refuse bill or do not pay your bill on time, the City will take all necessary and appropriate legal actions to force you to do so. Typically, these legal actions will begin ninety (90) days from the day your bill was due. Solid waste collection and disposal services are a very important part of keeping our neighborhoods clean and healthy.

Back to Billing & Payment | Back to top

How can I report a problem with my bill?

Questions about payment (how do I pay, where do I pay, my check hasn't been cashed, my payment was applied to my account incorrectly, etc) should be directed to the Collector of Revenue at 622-3735, Room 109 City Hall.

Questions/corrections regarding name, mailing address, service address or water service charges (including switching solid waste and water services to your name when you buy a new home) should be directed to the Water Division Customer Service Dept. at 771-2255.

Questions about the solid waste service fees (number of units billed) should be reported to the Citizens' Service Bureau (CSB) by calling 314-622-4800. CSB will report your question to the Refuse Division and the Refuse Division will contact you to respond. If a correction made to your bill results in a credit to your account, the credit will appear on your next quarterly statement.

Back to Billing & Payment | Back to top

Services -- General

Who do I call if my trash does not get collected as scheduled?

Please call Citizens' Service Bureau at 314-622-4800.

Back to General Services | Back to top

When is my trash scheduled to be collected?

Your collection schedule depends on where you live. Please call CSB at 314-622-4800 or look up your schedule on-line a https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/data/address-search/

Back to General Services | Back to top

How do I know which dumpster is for trash/yard waste/recyclables?

"Regular" trash dumpsters are dark brown in color with signs indicating that they are used to collect solid waste. Yard waste dumpsters are green in color with signs indicating that they are ONLY for collecting yard waste (e.g., grass, leaves, etc.). Recycling dumpsters are blue.

Back to General Services | Back to top

Will I still be able to use the drop off trash/yard waste/bulky/automotive batteries, motor oil, appliances, and tires at City collection sites?

Yes. At this time, there are no plans to make any changes to our drop-off trash sites. For details on drop off trash locations, hours, and materials accepted, please visit our website at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/street/refuse/resident-dumping/.

Back to General Services | Back to top

Who will monitor to make sure people are using the trash/recycling/yard waste dumpsters properly?

Proper use and monitoring of trash/yard waste dumpsters is the joint responsibility of City residents and Refuse Division employees. It is illegal for businesses and commercial trucks to use the City's residential trash, recycling or yard waste dumpsters, and it is illegal for anyone who is not paying the City solid waste services fee to use these dumpsters. If you see anyone that you believe is not a legitimate user placing items in the City dumpsters or if you see items in your dumpsters that you think were illegally dumped, please call the Citizen's Service Bureau at 314-622-4800. If you see a commercial truck that is illegally dumping, get the license plate number, the description of the vehicle, and call 911. The City's Trash Task Force will investigate and prosecute instances of illegal dumping. If the information you provide results in the conviction of the suspect, you may be eligible for a $100 reward.

Back to General Services | Back to top

What if people place trash items in the wrong trash/yard waste/recycling dumpsters?

This is where we need your help, please let us know and we will do everything possible to educate your neighbors. If residents are depositing trash in yard waste dumpsters/yard waste in trash dumpsters/waste that cannot be recycled in recycling dumpsters, please report this type of activity to the Citizens' Service Bureau (CSB) online at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/csb/ or by phone at 314-622-4800. Please provide as many details as possible. The Refuse Division can provide residents, neighborhood associations, and community groups with educational materials about how to properly use our trash/recycling/yard waste services.

Back to General Services | Back to top

Where can I learn more about Refuse Division services?

Details about all Refuse Division services are posted on our website at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/street/refuse/

Back to General Services | Back to top

Services -- Recycling

Is there any limit to how much trash or recycling that I can put out per week?

There is no limit on the amount of household items you can dispose of or recycle per week, provided it fits in the proper dumpster or cart. We encourage you to recycle as much as possible. Recycling is better for our environment and also helps the City avoid paying fees for taking solid waste to a landfill. Everything must be placed into the correct dumpster or cart. Nothing will be picked up outside of these containers or off the ground, unless it is placed out for bulk pickup during a scheduled bulk pickup week.

Back to Recycling | Back to top

What if all my recycling doesn't fit in the container?

If you have a large one-time quantity of recyclable waste, you may also take it to one of the drop-off sites.

Back to Recycling | Back to top

What materials can be placed in my recycle bin? What items cannot go in the BLUE container? Why not?

Details on single-stream recycling are posted on our website at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/street/refuse/recycle/residential-recycling-pick-up.cfm. This site currently refers to our pilot recycling programs but the pilot single-stream "permitted materials" description will also apply to the new single-stream recycling initiative. As your area receives its recycling bins, the bin will have a larger version of the sign below that details what materials you can place in it. Generally these materials are recyclable paper, recyclable plastic, and metals. The graphic on the next page provides more details on what can and cannot be placed in the recycling container.

Single-stream diagram
View full size image

Back to Recycling | Back to top

Do I need to clean items before putting them in the BLUE container?

To avoid pests while recyclables are stored and processed, we ask that recyclables be rinsed where applicable before you put them in the containers.

Back to Recycling | Back to top

My recyclables were not picked up. Who do I call?

For missed pickups, contact the Citizens' Service Bureau (CSB) online at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/csb/ or by phone at 314-622-4800.

Back to Recycling | Back to top

Where can I get more details about the City's recycling programs/services?

Details and options for reducing, reusing, and recycling are posted on our Recycling Program website at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/recycle/.

Back to Recycling | Back to top