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ST. LOUIS – Madeline Leitner is one of the many Tower Grove residents who recycle, so she was confused when she saw a truck picking up the trash and recycle bin at the same time.

“I saw the refuse truck come by and the blue bin was dumped first and then immediately following, the brown trash bin was dumped into the same truck,” she said.

It doesn’t sit well with her.

“I was really disappointed because I just threw a lot of my recyclables in the blue bin last night trying to make sure that it was out for the pick-up, whenever that would be, and it was disheartening to go in immediately with the trash when that’s obviously not what I want.”

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office says the two holiday weekends over the last month created a high volume of trash and a staff shortage.

The city is expediting the collecting of both trash and recycling this week to ensure all the refuse gets picked up before returning to normal service next week.

Jason Lang says he goes out of his way to recycle and some sort of notification before—and not after the fact—would have been nice because he would’ve made other arrangements.

“I think a lot of other people would too,” he said. “It’s just the way that our neighborhood is, people are pretty passionate about the environment.”

They feel the city had a chance to be transparent on a solvable issue.

“To not even have the information or be given that opportunity, I think that’s just a miss; a big miss,” Lang said.

He hopes this isn’t a reoccurring issue.

And if it does happen again?

“Maybe next time, they let us make the decision,” Lang said. “Give us the information. We can work together on a plan, I think, that would be more beneficial than finding out after the fact.”