Following the City of St. Louis’ investment in more mechanics for trucks, as well as the development of a data-driven plan to use Refuse Division resources most efficiently, the Streets Department today announced that alleyway recycling will resume on Tuesday, May 31. The City, in partnership with Saint Louis Recycles, is urging residents to prepare for a resumption of alleyway recycling collection by getting up to date on best recycling practices while being aware of how much waste their household produces.
“The Refuse Division services 80,000 households across the city, and we’ve been working tirelessly to resume alleyway recycling collection for St. Louisans,” said Streets Director Betherny Williams. “Our data-driven plan will help us increase our transparency and efficiency around waste collection and recycling, and the Refuse Division will consistently monitor our routes and make adjustments where necessary. St. Louisans can all do our part by reducing the amount of waste we produce and making sure we are educated around the proper way to recycle.”
The Refuse Division reviewed the solid waste production of all of the refuse routes. After thorough data analysis, it was evident that certain routes produce more solid waste than others per month, resulting in high-yield routes and low-yield routes.
“Alleyway recycling collection is an important and critical service that our residents rely on every week and despite the challenges the city faces, we are using data to inform and improve our operations,” said Nancy Cross, City of St. Louis Operations Director. “We worked hard to get to this point, and we ask for your patience as we work through any bumps in the road that will come along the way.”
Low-yield routes will continue to receive at least once a week pickup. High-yield routes will continue to receive once-a-week pickup and be closely monitored to determine if another pickup is necessary. The Streets Department will continue to analyze the overall refuse data on a consistent basis and will make operational adjustments as necessary.
Before alleyway recycling collection, St. Louis’ recycling diversion rate was 11 percent, compared to 34 percent nationally. Saint Louis City Recycles and the City will be rolling out educational materials and engaging stakeholders to emphasize the importance of recycling correctly for the health of city neighborhoods to help create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable St. Louis for families.
“To keep recycling in our alleys, it’s more important now more than ever to ensure that only good, clean materials are placed in your recycling dumpster,” said Elysia Musumeci, Program Manager for Saint Louis Recycles. “Remember to keep items loose, clean, and dry. Make sure bottles, containers, jars, and cartons are empty, do not contain food, replace any caps or lids, and most importantly, do not bag up your recycling! Plastic bags and wraps are not accepted in the Blue Bins. Be sure to take plastic bags and wraps back to your grocery or retail store.”
The national labor shortage continues to pose a challenge for hiring efforts, and the City continues to work aggressively to attract drivers for our Refuse division with a $3,000 hiring bonus for new drivers. The Division has brought on nine truck drivers since the push began, but the City is still looking to hire more.
Roll cart collection will not be impacted by this plan at this time but will be impacted by the Memorial Day weekend. Residents who normally have their roll carts collected on Mondays and Thursdays will have their trash collected on Tuesday, May 31st and recyclables collected on Thursday, June 2nd. St. Louis residents can check their pickup schedule on the city’s website.