Organized Trash Collection

organized collection

Coming soon to an alley near you!  
The City of Saint Paul has dedicated $330,000 in the 2016 budget to begin the process of implementing organized trash collection city-wide.  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.

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

City Seeks Input
The Saint Paul City Council has introduced a resolution to consider organized trash collection within the city.  

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

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