The City of St. Louis Streets Department announced this week that alley recycling pickup will return on the last day of the month. The city says the change is possible because it invested in more truck mechanics and plans to use Refuse Division resources more effectively.
“The Refuse Division services 80,000 households across the city, and we’ve been working tirelessly to resume alleyway recycling collection for St. Louis. Louisans, ”said Streets Department Director Betherny Williams in a statement. “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.”
The city will pick up once a week from routes that regularly produce less recycling and monitor more high-yield routes to determine the need for additional pickups. The city is asking residents to decrease the pressure on the resuming service by only placing truly recyclable items into the bins.
Recycling from alley blue bins has been on pause since July 2021, when a worker shortage had the city combining trash and recycling and asking residents to bring recyclables to designated drop off points, reports KSDK. The outlet reports that the city drew criticism in December for continuing to collect fees even though some recycling was not happening.
In August, the city announced a $ 3,000 signing bonus for new truck drivers, reports Fox 2. Yet, the effort appeared to have little effect until now.
In her State of the City Address at the end of April, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones promised that the city would bring back recycling in May.
“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,” City of St. Louis Operations Director Nancy Cross said in a statement. “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.”