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Solid Waste

Waste accounts for approximately 4% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Saint Paul

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The City of Saint Paul’s Solid Waste team includes both Recycling and Garbage services. These programs provide education and resources for residents to reduce, reuse, recycle, and safely dispose of materials to promote a sustainable and healthy community for all. Saint Paul contracts with several haulers to provide citywide recycling and garbage collection services to residents living in 1-4 unit properties. Having a coordinated hauling program benefits residents by setting uniform rates, protecting public health, reducing wear and tear on streets and alleys, and reducing pollution by having fewer trucks on the street.

Recyclables are processed and sorted at Eureka Recycling’s Material Recovery Facility and transported to markets in the Twin Cities metro area, the Midwest, and North America to be made into new consumer products. Garbage collected in the City of Saint Paul goes to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center (R&E Center). The material is processed to produce fuel used by Xcel Energy to generate electricity.

The Solid Waste team also provides community waste reduction and recycling programs beyond just recycling and garbage pick-up. This includes things like, food waste reduction classes, recycling drop-off events, litter clean-up support, and much more.

The City of Saint Paul established goals of diverting waste 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2030.

Waste Reduction

Key Initiatives:

WR-1 Develop and implement a waste prevention plan to keep items out of the trash

WR-2 Develop and adopt an ordinance to place a fee on single-use shopping bags

WR-3 Promote county compost and yard waste drop off sites

WR-4 Develop and implement a household organics collection program

WR-5 Expand recycling for businesses and public facilities

WR-6 Adopt a deconstruction/diversion ordinance to require the reuse/recycling of construction materials

WR-7 Adopt a “to go” packaging ordinance requiring containers to be recyclable or compostable

WR-8 Coordinate with Ramsey and Washington County to support anaerobic digestion of organic materials, or other GHG reducing practices

WR-9 Work with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to identify opportunities to capture and utilize any methane leaking from closed Pig’s Eye landfill

WR-10 In consideration of the Great River Passage, coordinate with the MPCA and community stakeholders to explore land use strategies that can benefit residents and improve the environmental aspects of the Pig’s Eye Landfill, such as a ballasted community solar garden

Reducing waste is crucial for protecting the environment, conserving resources, mitigating pollution, and promoting sustainable practices for the well-being of current and future generations.

Take action by making changes in your daily life:

  • Reduce consumption of unnecessary material goods
  • Avoid single-use items
    • Use a reusable bottle/cup for beverages
    • Use reusable grocery bags
    • Use your own food containers and utensils
  • Shop at local farmers markets and buy in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Purchase products with less packaging
  • Reduce food waste and compost your food scraps
  • Repair items before buying new ones
  • Buy secondhand items
  • Donate used goods
  • Choose paperless billing, mail, receipts, magazines, etc.
  • Dispose of electronic waste responsibly
  • Replace your soap bottles with bars
  • Make your own cleaning products
  • Go straw-less
  • Drink loose leaf tea instead of tea bgs