Garbage FAQs

All In 2018 Citywide Garbage Services (Coordinated Collection) FAQs

Why is Saint Paul transitioning to a citywide garbage program?
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 wants to simplify and standardize this service for all residents so they can enjoy similar benefits living in the city they love.
The citywide garbage program contracts with the haulers who already provide garbage collection services throughout Saint Paul neighborhoods, but organizes them into zones where they will serve all residents. With All-In citywide garbage service, there will be less truck traffic, set prices, and opportunities to have several larger bulky items collected at no additional cost.  

When will the new citywide garbage program start?
October 1, 2018 is the target date to start the new citywide garbage service. Other key dates and activities:

           June 1, 2018 – Property owners must select their garbage cart size/service level via special website, phone number or return postcard. Please use the special Cart Selection ID on the postcard you received. If the City does not receive this, we will  default to current service listed for the property. If there is no current service indicated for the property, we will choose a medium cart size/service level.

           Early August 2018 – The collection zone map will be published, and property owners will receive a letter notifying them of their designated hauler, confirmed cart size, garbage collection date and recycling collection date.

Mid-August – September 30, 2018 – New city garbage carts are delivered. Please continue using your current carts until further notice. More details and instructions will be available this summer.

Late September – Residents and/or property owners receive the first quarterly bill for garbage service (Oct-Dec 2018) from their new designated haulers.

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 needs.

The rate/quote I currently have for garbage service is different than the new rates established for citywide garbage service. Why is this?
The City negotiated with the licensed garbage haulers to create standardized garbage services and new rates for all Saint Paul households (1-4 units) beginning October 1, 2018. This pricing structure does not apply to the current “open system” of garbage collection that is in effect through September 30, 2018.

Who is required to participate in the citywide garbage program?
The new City ordinance will require all residential property owners of 1-4 unit households, including rentals and townhomes, to participate in the citywide garbage services.

When will I know who my new hauler is going to be and/or what day they will be collecting my garbage?
The City will mail information to all residential property owners about designated haulers and collection days. That information will arrive in mailboxes early August. Details will also be available on the website at that time.

Will my garbage and recycling collection dates be the same?
The City is working with haulers to coordinate garbage and recycling collection days as much as possible.  Most routes should have same-day garbage and recycling collection.

Is my recycling service changing?
There are no changes to Saint Paul's recycling program. Please continue to put all your recyclables in your blue recycling carts, and your garbage in your garbage carts.

How do I enroll in the new citywide garbage service? Is it automatic?
No enrollment is necessary, but there are a few steps property owners will need to take leading up to the start of service:

  • In May, residential property owners will need to select their new cart size and service level. Watch for information in the mail about selecting your service level, and respond by postcard, phone or on the website to let the City know what cart size and service level you want.  If we don’t hear from you by June 1, you will be assigned your current cart size and service level.  If you don’t have garbage service now, the city will select a default size and service level for you.
  • In August, residential property owners will receive a notice in the mail from the City confirming their cart size/service level, designated hauler, and pick-up day.  If you did not choose a garbage service level in May, the information you receive from the City will confirm what was designated for you.

When do I need to choose my service level?
Cart and service selection choices need to be made by June 1, 2018. In early May, all property owners will receive a mailer, with a self-return postcard to submit your service level choice to the City.  Residents can also respond by calling a special hotline number or online. Please note, these contact methods will be available to residents beginning Monday, May 14.
When submitting your cart size, please use the cart selection ID listed on your postcard. This is a unique number specific to your property.
If you do not send in your selection, the City will choose a service level for you. For residents currently receiving garbage service, the cart size and service level will be assigned based on your current garbage service. For residents not currently receiving garbage service, the City will assign a “Medium” cart service level.

How do I choose the best service level for my household?
If you are unsure which level you might need, we recommend you continue with your current service level and change your cart size in the future. You have the ability to change your cart size once per year free of charge. 

Can I change my cart size/collection service level?
Homeowners can change their cart size/service level once a year for no fee. With the quarterly billing cycles, the first opportunity for residents to change their service level is January 1, 2019. Please contact your designated hauler.

Why don’t businesses and larger multi-unit residences have to participate in the citywide garbage program?
This coordinated garbage system is designed for residential services only. Commercial establishments, including apartment buildings with five or more units, are typically served with dumpsters and have other collection frequencies.

Are the licensed haulers required to stop taking new customers due to citywide garbage service?
All licensed haulers may continue accepting new customers until October 1, 2018. Existing contracts will terminate once the new coordinated citywide garbage program starts.

What if I have a long-term contract with my existing hauler?
All existing residential collection agreements with current haulers will be terminated as of September 30, 2018. Residents are responsible to pay for any services received from their current hauler through September 30, 2018.
For any services not delivered, haulers will refund customers for any payments made. For example, if you paid for services through the end of the year and the new system begins October 1, your hauler will refund your payment for 4th quarter services. Your new hauler will send you a quarterly invoice in late September. This invoice will cover the next three months of your new garbage service beginning on October 1, 2018.

Can I opt-out of garbage collection service? Can I self-haul my garbage to another disposal location?
There is no opt-out option. The new city ordinance requires all residential property owners of 1-4 units to participate in the citywide garbage collection program with a designated hauler.

What if I’m on extended vacation or leave my home for the season to live elsewhere? Will I still need to pay my bill?
There will be 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. 

I have never had garbage collection services. Do I have to participate in the citywide garbage service?
The new City ordinance will require all residential properties of 1-4 unit households, including rentals and townhomes, to participate in the citywide garbage services. Each property owner may choose the service level that best meets their needs.

I currently share garbage services with my neighbor(s). Can we continue this practice?
The new City ordinance will require 1-4 unit households, including rentals and townhomes, to each have their own service.  If your household doesn’t generate much garbage, we offer a service level using a small cart with service every other week.

What happens if I don't participate/pay my garbage bill?
The new City ordinance will require 1-4 unit households, including rentals and townhomes, to each have their own service. Any unpaid garbage bills will be charged late fees and assessed to the property.


I am a renter. I currently don’t pay for garbage services. Do I now have to pay for citywide garbage service?
The new City ordinance will require all residential properties of 1-4 units to participate in the City’s garbage collection program with a designated hauler. The landlord/property owner is responsible for choosing the cart size/service level for the residence and processing/paying hauler quarterly invoices.
Property owners/property management companies are responsible for paying the haulers, but can charge renters for garbage services. The service payment terms between a landlord and tenant may or may not change. We recommend you discuss this with your landlord/property manager.

I am a renter. Do I get to choose my garbage cart size or service level?
We recommend that you contact your landlord/property owner or property management company as soon as possible to discuss your garbage service needs. By ordinance, all properties of 1-4 units, must participate in the City’s garbage program with a designated hauler. Property owners will have the option to select the cart size/service level for the rental property.

What happens if my landlord/property manager chooses a different cart size or service level than what I need?
Please discuss your current garbage services needs with your landlord/property owner in advance. Renters are not able to make cart size/service level changes under this new contract.