Residential Refuse Collection Rules

Rules and policies governing residential refuse, yard waste and recycling

Residential Collection Fee

The City has a comprehensive solid waste services program that provides citizens with an exceptional residential trash service at a low cost. 

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

City solid waste services include:

All are included in the flat solid waste services fee of $14 per month per dwelling unit. These services may not be divided in order to discount the fee.

Learn how to Pay your Refuse Collection Fee

For Property Owners

The customer and property owner are both responsible for paying the solid waste services fee. The City assumes that if your dwelling unit has active water service, the unit 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.

For Tenants

If the water bill is in your name, the solid waste services bill will also be in your name, which means you are responsible for paying it. If your landlord pays the water bill, the solid waste services bill will be in the landlord's name, and the landlord will pay it.

For Condominium Owners

If your condominium association pays the water bill for all of the condominium units in the property, then that association also pays the solid waste services fee, and you will not be responsible.

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 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.

Suspending or Declining Service

Suspending Service

Trash service can only be discontinued if

  1. you are gone for more than 90 days; and
  2. 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.

Vacant Property

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. 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, which 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.

Declining Service

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 a city transfer station, the City must still pay landfill costs and operate the 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, please contact the Citizens' Service Bureau at 314-622-4800.

Private Trash Services

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.

Commercial Service

If you own a business or commercial property, you may not contract with the city for waste removal.

Commercial Properties

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.

Mixed Use Properties

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 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.

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