Recycling Update: 2022

Updated December 6, 2022

If high levels of contamination (i.e. trash) are seen along an alley recycling collection route, those blue dumpsters may be collected with trash dumpsters. To ensure your materials get recycled, you may wish to use a City Recycling Dropoff Location (listed below). These designated recycling bins are on their own route, picked up separately from other alley dumpsters, and usually contain good, clean materials.

We appreciate your patience as the City continues to work through staffing shortages and high levels of contamination in the recycling stream.

As of May 25th, 2022

Recycling and trash collection in alleys will return to normal on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022. Please place recyclable materials in the Blue Bin, trash in the Brown Bin and yard waste in the Green Waste Bin.

As of December 7th, 2021:

The recycling and trash are unfortunately still being collected together in the alleyways. 😥 The Refuse division is scheduled to resume normal operations by late December, 2021. Residents with alley dumpsters are encouraged to use one of the dropoff locations.

Find a Dropoff Location Near You


St. Louis City Residents: Due to a shortage of truck drivers, the City of St. Louis is temporarily collecting alley trash and recycling dumpsters at the same time. There is no change to rollcart collection. You can read the City’s press release for more information here.  

You can ensure your items are recycled by taking them to one of the City’s more than two dozen dropoff locations.  Find the closest dropoff location near you.  Recyclable items from these dropoff locations are scheduled to be collected daily, as needed. 

You can help the City get back to its regular recycling collection schedule by referring candidates to apply to become a Refuse truck driver.  

The City will resume separate collection when enough drivers have been hired.

This post was originally published in September 2021 and has since been updated to note new information about recycling collection.

21 Comments

  • Andrew Strosahl says:

    Has alley recycling resumed yet?

    • Samantha Villaire says:

      Unfortunately, we have not had any further updates from the Refuse division. Hopefully be the first of the year they will have enough drivers.

  • Melissa says:

    Is there an update on the recycling for STL City?

    • Samantha Villaire says:

      Unfortunately, not yet. 😪 The last we heard from Refuse was December/early 2022. Once it resumes to normal, we will make a post on the website, on our social media and send out an email. Thanks for checking in and let us know if you need to be added to the email newsletter.

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks! Yes add me to your mailing list. I was a little overexcited this morning when I saw trash pickup come by and they did not empty the blue bins into the truck, only regular landfill. I will keep an eye out for the good news.

      • MARY MORGAN says:

        With the city of St. Louis not having our blue roll out carts emptied for recycle, then we should not have to pay for the service. With that said, receive credits back for each of the last 6 months, or more. That’s $14 a month! Which adds up to $84 for 6 month period. With the cost of goods on the rise, we sure could use this savings.

        • Teela Gajewski says:

          Recycling roll carts are being collected separately as recycling. Only alley dumpsters are being collected together. The Refuse fee is a comprehensive fee that includes trash, yard waste, recycling, dropoff locations, bulk pickup and the use of the transfer stations. Unfortunately, we are not in the management or operations of the Refuse Division and have been suggesting that residents reach out to their Alderperson so their message can be sent directly to Refuse.

  • Gayle M Brinker says:

    Please contact me when Recycling and Yard Waster pick-ups are back in place.
    Also, how will we be reimbursed for the taxes we pay for this service and are not getting?

    • Teela Gajewski says:

      Thank you for reaching out to us! Yard waste collection will return in March 2022. Yard waste collection for rollcarts will return on March 2nd and yard waste collection for dumpsters will return on March 3rd. We post all updates on our social media, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and/ or Instagram by clicking the icons on the bottom of this page. We also send updates in our e-newsletter, you can sign up by following this link: https://stlcityrecycles.com/get-involved/join-us/e-newsletter-signup/ or email us at Recycle@stlouis-mo.gov saying you would like to sign up for the e-newsletter. We will continue to add updates on this post as well. As far as taxes, we only operate the outreach and education, you would have to contact your Alderperson on that matter.

  • Katie says:

    This makes it sound like my blue recycling bin should be picked up for recycling but just this morning, I saw an orange refuse truck picking it up, so I’m hoping you can clarify if curbside recycling is being recycled, perhaps despite not being picked up by a recycling truck. Otherwise, I will keep taking it to the dropoff location.

    • Teela Gajewski says:

      Hello! To clarify, only alley recycling dumpsters are being collected with alley trash dumpsters. Blue recycling rollcarts have been and still are being collected separately as recycling. Refuse truck colors do not represent what type of waste they collect. Any color Refuse truck can pick up recycling. The drivers are assigned a type of waste in the beginning of the day and only collect that type of waste, so it is very possible the orange truck drivers were assigned recycling that day. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Amy Pool says:

    MAY 14, 2022
    Are the recycling dumpsters and trash dumpsters still being comingled?

    • Samantha Villaire says:

      We have not heard any updated news other than the Mayor stating it should be back sometime this month. We will be updating our blog, website and social media once we know what date it will be returning. Thank you for checking in.

  • mck says:

    Since we’re no longer doing recycling in St Louis, why not just remove the collection bins and admit we don’t do it any more.

    • Samantha Villaire says:

      The recycling is still being collected at the dropoff locations and in recycling rollcarts. The Mayor announced that it should be back in alleyways sometime this month.

  • Annoyed Resident says:

    Updates??? We are way past May 31!

    • Samantha Villaire says:

      The recycling collection resumed in the alley on May 31st. The Refuse division is still low on drivers so pickups have been behind. Please report any overflowing or missed collections with the Citizens’ Service Bureau, 314-622-4800.

  • Princeton Height Resident says:

    Five months past the May 31st resumption of recycling dumpster collection, however trash and recycling are currently still being collected together – same truck, same time. When will recycling actually be collected separately?

    • Elysia Musumeci says:

      Hi There- We had hoped recycling collection would resume as normal back in May. Unfortunately, Refuse still suffers with staff shortages and we are working through high contamination levels in the blue alley dumpsters. If a driver sees a lot of trash in the blue dumpsters along their route, they can collect them with the trash dumpsters. To ensure your materials are recycled, please use a recycling dropoff location. stlrecycles.com/dropoff

      • Princeton Height Resident says:

        Ms. Musumeci – Thank you for the response and feedback, however there are multiple concerns with that response.
        #1 To alleviate confusion for City residents, when will the City provide an announcement that alley recycling has not fully resumed as previously announced seven months ago?
        #2 You indicate that one issue is driver shortage – did that shortage begin after May 31?
        #3 You indicate “if driver sees a lot of trash in the blue dumpsters along their route, they can collect them with the trash dumpsters.” Does that mean recycling trucks are not currently being sent out at all?
        #4 Since alley service has not resumed “as hoped”, how do residents recoup their $3 alley service fee since service did not restart?
        #5 Last – you stated in March, 2022 “But I mean, we know recycling will come back in full force eventually.” When will “eventually” return?

        • Elysia Musumeci says:

          Great questions and concerns! To address each: #1 – The City has provided several updates and a few press conferences about this issue. This information comes from the City’s Streets Department. #2 – The shortage has sadly been happening for quite some time. The City is doing all it can to increase staff. On Twitter, the City provides regular Refuse updates including # of staff and routes collected. #3 – I don’t believe the Refuse Division has designated recycling trucks, rather designated routes. More details on Refuse operations will need to be addressed with the Refuse Division. #4 – I believe the $3 you are referring to was an approved waste services fee increase several years ago. I’m not aware of a specified $3 for alley service. Please address issues with billing with the Collector of Revenue and the Refuse Division. #5 – Prior to May, we were hopeful that collection would be running in optimal condition by what we told – would be May. Unfortunately, there are still many factors affecting solid waste pick up. We share in your recycling frustrations as City residents ourselves and advocates for recycling.

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