ST. LOUIS — There are a lot of people who put things into the blue St. Louis ally recycling bins can’t be recycled. Board of Aldermen President Megan Ellyia Green says that this is overwhelming the system and that only around one third of items put into recycling bins are actually recycled. She has a proposal to help fix the issue that the city has been dealing with since 2017.

Green is proposing that the city replace ally recycling bins with household roll carts. This would hold people accountable who are not self-sorting. Recyclers may be charged a fee to opt-in for curbside pick-up. The details of this proposal appear are still up for debate.

The city has been grappling with issues over trash pick-up and recycling for several years. The pandemic and a labor shortage meant fewer trash truck drivers. This meant that the city had to cut back on routes. Trash and recycling were temporarily picked up in the same truck and sent to the landfill.

St. Louis suspended alleyway recycling from the end of 2021 into the beginning of 2022. In May 2022, St. Louis enacted a plan to return the city’s recycling program and a crackdown on illegal dumpers. The city began offering $3,000 bonuses for new refuse truck drivers.

Trash pickup in the city has improved. Green’s proposal would help make sure that the recycling actually gets processed. She is also working on public education about what can be recycled. There have been decades of efforts to do that with some success.