ST. LOUIS, Mo. – You may see dump trucks picking up the refuse and recycling together over the next few weeks in St. Louis. Holiday weekends and a worker shortage have led to a pileup of trash. The temporary change should help the city pick up all of the trash by the end of the week.
A spokesman from the mayor’s office issued this statement about the change in service, ” We had two holiday weekends over the past month, which contributed to a high volume of trash. We are expediting the pickup of both trash and recycling this week to ensure all the refuse gets picked up before returning to normal service next week. We are also pushing to fill positions in Refuse and other city departments, many of which are vacancies from the hiring freeze we just lifted, so that we can more efficiently provide city services. “
A member of the Tower Grove South Facebook group saw a trash truck pick up the recycling. She said in a post, “This is totally unacceptable and disheartening. I know I am not the first to witness this happening.”
Others chimed in on the post saying that they were seeing the same thing. Alderwoman Megan-Ellyia Green replied with a message she received from the mayor’s office this morning:
“To the Honorable Members of the Board of Aldermen, We recognize trash collection is a concern across St. Louis. Two holiday weekends within the last 30 days impacted pickups for many. With the hiring freeze lifted, the City has been aggressively pushing out information regarding opportunities with the city, specifically with the refuse division.
In the meantime, I want you to know the administration is taking proactive measures to address this problem.
Among our current efforts:
- Transferring volunteers from the streets department street cleaners over to refuse pick-up. These workers are cross-trained in both skills and will help alleviate the current shortage
- Stepping up efforts in collaboration with Personnel to expedite more hirees through the system and get trained.
- For the next week, we will temporarily be picking up the recycling and waste together. This will allow us to pick up all the trash by the end of the week.
We also request that you encourage your constituents to continue to apply for job opportunities with the City, particularly critical positions like trash truck drivers. A link to all of the current openings with the City can be found at https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/jobs/index.cfm.
We hope you’ll work with us as we address this issue.”