Citywide Garbage Service FAQs

Background Information
Garbage Service
Billing and Rates
Garbage Carts
Additional Services


Background Information

What is Saint Paul’s citywide garbage service?
Citywide garbage service is a new coordinated garbage collection system in Saint Paul where each street/alley has one designated residential garbage hauler and prices and services are consistent for all residents.

Citywide garbage service establishes collection zones with the haulers licensed to serve the city. Residents won’t need to spend time collecting individual quotes from different haulers and signing up for collection – a licensed hauler is already assigned to a specific street/alley and a standard price is already set. 

The City of Saint Paul worked with the city’s current residential garbage haulers to design a citywide system that creates uniform pricing, service levels and high-quality customer service for all residents. This citywide garbage system also reduces air pollution, truck traffic, noise, and wear and tear on our streets and alleys.

Why did Saint Paul transition its garbage program?
Previously, Saint Paul residents had to find their own hauler to contract for garbage collection service. This was an inefficient system on many levels, from homeowners spending time requesting quotes from different haulers, to multiple haulers serving single neighborhoods or blocks, to vastly different service packages and rates. Most larger cities have coordinated collection programs because they have discovered that this is the most efficient and cost-effective way to collect garbage. The City of Saint Paul wanted to simplify and standardize this service for all residents so they can experience similar benefits.

Who needs to participate in Citywide Garbage Service? 
The new City ordinance will require service and a garbage cart per unit for all residential properties with 1-4 units, including rentals and townhomes.

Who is providing the garbage services?
The newly-formed group of current licensed garbage haulers, St. Paul Haulers, LLC., will be providing garbage services under the new Citywide program.

Can I opt-out or share garbage services with my neighbor?
There is no opt-out option. City ordinance requires all residential property owners of 1-4 unit buildings, including rental properties, to have their own service per dwelling unit.  If your household does not generate much garbage, we offer a small cart with service every other week.

Is my recycling service changing?
No. The recycling program will stay the same. Please continue to put all acceptable recyclables in your blue recycling cart.


Garbage Service

What are my service level or cart size options? What are the costs?
Residential property owners can choose from four different garbage service levels to best meet their household’s needs.

Who is my designated hauler?
You can find this information by using our interactive map.

When is my garbage collection day?
Check our interactive map for collection day information.

Why do I need to bag my garbage?
For public health and safety reasons, we require all residents to secure your garbage in bags. Loose garbage can pose as a safety hazard for garbage truck drivers who are emptying the carts. If there are storms or strong winds that tip the cart over, it’s important to have garbage securely tied so loose garbage does not end up littering our streets and alleys. Bagged garbage also keeps the garbage carts in good condition and decreases the likelihood of odors or pest damage. Garbage can be secured in any type of bag, such as plastic, paper (stapled or rolled tightly shut), or biodegradable bags.


Billing and Rates

The rate/quote I previously had for garbage service is different than the new rates established for citywide garbage service. Why is this?
The City negotiated prices with St. Paul Haulers, Llc. to create a standardized price structure for all residential Saint Paul households (1-4 units). Under the open system of garbage collection, not all services were available to all residents, and some residents were paying vastly different prices for similar levels of service. Furthermore, there are additional services included in the new garbage program, such as no-cost bulky item and holiday tree collection, that were generally not included in the open system pricing for residents.

Who needs to pay the garbage bill?
Property owners will receive quarterly invoice statements from their new hauler and are responsible for paying the invoices. Haulers accept payments by check, money order, automatic payments, online website payment, or credit/debit card over the phone.

What happens if I don't pay my garbage bill?
Any unpaid garbage bills will be assessed to the property through your property tax statement.  Unpaid bills are subject to late fees and administrative fees.


Garbage Carts

Why is the program using new City garbage carts?
These universal carts can be serviced by all the trash hauling companies. Having universal carts will also make it easier for cart repairs across the city. 

Can I change my cart size/collection service level?
Property owners can change cart size once a year for no fee. The first opportunity for residents to change their service level is January 1, 2019. Please contact your designated hauler to request this change.

Subsequent cart changes will cost $25 per change. Cart changes can include, but are not limited to, service level changes or cart replacements due to damage or loss.

What’s happening with the old garbage carts?
Depending on the condition of the old garbage cart, it may be reused in a different city, used as a yard waste cart, recycled, or discarded.

Old carts will be picked up between September 25 – November 2. Make sure that your cart is empty! Your old cart will not be removed if it has garbage in it. Check out our garbage announcements to find out when your cart will be removed.

Where do I need to put my cart on collection day?
On collection day, by 6:00 a.m., place the front of your cart no more than four feet from the edge of the curb or alley. Make sure that your cart is two feet away from your recycling cart or other obstacles and not blocked by cars, snow, or other objects.


Additional Services

Is yard waste collection available with citywide garbage service? 
Yard waste collection is available April 15 – November 30 each year.  Service is available through a subscription service (a 64-gallon cart and up to 8 compostable bags collected weekly) or non-subscription service (a compostable bag or bundle set out as needed).

What if I’m on extended vacation or leave my home for the season to live elsewhere? Will I still need to pay for service?
There is a service hold option for residents who are not in their homes for at least four consecutive weeks and wish to suspend service during that time. The maximum amount of time service can be suspended is 26 weeks. Learn more about how to request a service hold.

What if I have difficulty moving my garbage cart to my collection point?
If you have special physical needs or limitations, all garbage haulers can provide walk-up service for your garbage cart, if needed.  

If you do not meet the criteria as a less-able-bodied individual, you can pay for walk-up service based on the distance your cart is located from your designated curb or alley collection location.

How do I schedule a bulky item pick-up?
Call your garbage hauler at least 48 hours before your regular garbage collection day to let them know you have a bulky item. Your hauler will tell you which day to put your bulky item out for collection. Place your bulky items outside of your cart at your regular collection location. Do not place bulky items inside your garbage cart.

Can I arrange for an additional garbage pick-up?
A request for a Return or Extra Pick-Up can be made directly with your designated hauler. If you do not put your garbage cart out by 6:00 a.m. on your collection day, your hauler can return and collect your garbage for a $40 fee, plus tax.  If you would like to request “return service,” call your hauler as soon as possible.  Find your hauler’s contact information here.

If, at any point, you need to arrange for garbage or debris removal service beyond your normal garbage service (such as a move-out, remodel, or large clean-out), you may contact your designated hauler to negotiate pricing for this service. You may also contract with any licensed waste hauler or one-time clean-up company to schedule a pick-up for large quantities of waste or debris.