Organized Trash Collection

organized collection

Coming soon to an alley near you!  

The City of Saint Paul and the 15 trash haulers operating in the City have reached tentative agreement on a contract for city-wide organized collection!  The City and all 15 haulers are in agreement on the full package of operations, pricing structure and terms/conditions that achieve the majority of the priorities established by the City Council.

City staff will present details of this agreement to the City Council at a public hearing on: 

Wednesday, July 19
City Hall and Court House
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
Council Chambers - 3rd Floor
An organized system would have many benefits over our current open system including greater fuel efficiency, less wear and tear on roads and fewer noisy disruptions from multiple trucks in alleys. Many communities that have implemented organized collection have achieved these greater efficiencies along with additional services and reduced costs. 

Key highlights of the deal include:

  • All current, local and small haulers will provide service
  • Consistent, and high quality customer service throughout city 
  • Large item collection is included in the base rate which includes 3 bulky items per a year and holiday tree collection which should result in a reduction in illegal dumping
  • Easy and consistent billing process
  • Wage standards that include a $20 per  hour minimum wage for drivers
  • Stable, uniform, and reasonable rates
  • Less truck traffic – 1 hauler will be providing service to each neighborhood
  • Resulting in less noise and air pollution and safer alleys
  • City coordinated education and outreach with attention to ESL needs.
  • Walk up service will be available for the elderly and people with disabilities
There will be time for public comment at the July 19th meeting.  Please plan to attend to share your opinion with our councilmembers! Note that there will be a limited time for comments; be prepared to state your opinion briefly.

Can't make it to the meeting? 
Send an email to and your email will become part of the public record.  You can also contact your council member and the Mayor directly using the information below.  Please attend the hearing or contact your City Council representative to let them know your thoughts about organized trash collection!  Your feedback matters!

Mayor: Chris Coleman (651) 266-8510 or web contact form 
Ward 1: Dai Thao (651) 266-8610 or
Ward 2: Rebecca Noecker (651) 266-8620 or
Ward 3: Chris Tolbert (651) 266-8630 or
Ward 4: Russ Stark (651) 266-8640 or
Ward 5: Amy Brendmoen (651) 266-8650 or
Ward 6: Dan Bostrom (651) 266-8660 or
Ward 7: Jane Prince (651) 266-8670 or

Don’t know which Ward you live in? Find your council member here or by calling (651) 266-8560

For more information on the City of Saint Paul's work on this issue, click here.


Project Background

During 2015, with the support of the MN Pollution Control Agency, the Macalester-Groveland Community Council completed a comprehensive examination of organized trash collection.  We researched the issue, interviewed other communities that have organized, talked to trash haulers currently working in St. Paul, held community conversations with residents city-wide and received 2,000 responses to an online survey.  We compiled everything we learned into an easy-to-read report.

In this report, we outline our recommendation that the City of St. Paul implement organized trash collection through a consortium of haulers.  We believe this is the best method to develop a more efficient trash collection system which will benefit all of us, including the small and local haulers whom we seek to support. 

Have questions? Check out this useful guide to Frequently Asked Questions

Final Report 
Our final report (including survey analysis and complete recommendations) is now available:

Final Report (full-color)
Final Report (printer-friendly black and white)
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C 

Throughout 2015, with the support of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, we examined this issue in depth.  We hosted a series of community conversations to learn more about how our current system of trash collection functions and gather input on potential improvements.  We collected feedback from almost 2,000 Saint Paul residents through an online survey.  In addition, we met with numerous communities that have organized recently, conducted interviews with additional stakeholders and invited all haulers licensed for residential service in the City of Saint Paul to a conversation. 

We also researched the impacts of organized vs open trash collection systems across a wide range of issues, including wear-and-tear on our streets and alleys, environmental impacts, economic efficiency, fuel efficiency, equity and access to the system for new residents, customer service and support for small and local companies. 

After careful consideration of all this information, we believe that there are multiple benefits of a system of organized trash collection and that, by careful implementation, most concerns can be addressed.   

The process of transitioning to organized trash collection was impacted by a recent change in Minnesota law (Statute § 115A.94) which first gives haulers currently working in the City the opportunity to work with local government officials to jointly form the new system.  This is why we have recommended that haulers contract with the City through a consortium to develop a more efficient trash collection system which will benefit all of us, including the small and local haulers whom we seek to support.  

Learn more
In 2012, the City of Saint Paul partnered with Wilder Research to conduct a comprehensive community assessment about residential solid waste and recycling programs and services. The project was called "Recycle it Forward."  Read more about the project and review key findings.

In 2009, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released a report analyzing trash collection methods.  See the full report

Questions?  Contact us at or 651.695.4000