Saint Paul’s Holiday Recycling and Garbage Tips

Residents with Citywide Garbage Service can have a live holiday tree (less than 6’) collected by their hauler between January 2-15

SAINT PAUL (December 20, 2018) – The City of Saint Paul is providing helpful tips for residents to recycle or properly dispose of waste generated during the holiday season. According to Use Less Stuff (, during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash, or about 1 million tons of waste per week during the holidays.  

“For many people, the holidays are a busy time of the year with extra gatherings, decorations and gift-giving and receiving,” said Kathy Lantry, Director of Public Works for the City of Saint Paul. “We are working closely with the St. Paul Haulers Consortium and Eureka Recycling to help remind our residents to reduce, reuse, and recycle where possible, and properly dispose of excess holiday waste.”

Holiday Trees
Residents who participate in Saint Paul’s citywide garbage program can have one live holiday tree collected between January 2 and January 15 at no additional cost. Residents will need to:

  • Place the tree next to the garbage cart on the collection day between Jan. 2 and Jan. 15. Residents do not need to call their hauler to schedule a holiday tree collection during this time.
  • All trees must have decorations and stands removed.
  • No artificial trees are allowed. Flocked trees are acceptable.
  • Holiday trees must be no larger than 6 feet in length and 20 pounds in weight.
  • Lay the tree next to the garbage cart (do not place it upright in the snow or lean it against a garbage or recycling cart). Make sure the tree is not obstructing the carts.
  • Limit 1 holiday tree per household (or 1 tree per unit for multi-unit properties).

Additional holiday trees, artificial trees, or trees larger than 6 feet in length can be collected as a bulky item. Residents must call their hauler to schedule collection of a second tree, artificial tree, tree taller than 6 feet, or tree to be collected after January 15. For more information about bulky item collection, visit

Saint Paul residents may also compost holiday trees for free by bringing them to a Ramsey County yard waste site. For more information, visit

Delayed Collection – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
There will be no recycling or garbage collection for Saint Paul residents on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If a resident’s regular recycling and/or garbage collection day falls on or after Christmas Day (Tuesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 28), collection will be one day later than normal that week.

If a resident’s regular recycling and/or garbage collection day falls on or after New Year’s Day (Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 through Friday, Jan. 4), collection will be one day later than normal that week. Residents who have Every-Other-Week garbage collection (purple lid cart) do not have garbage collection scheduled that week. Garbage collection will occur the following week (January 7-11) as normal.

Cart Placement
Saint Paul Public Works recommends residents follow these instructions to make sure garbage and recycling is collected as smoothly as possible during winter months:

  • Shovel a safe and accessible pathway to the carts from your street or alley. Keep your alley plowed and clear of snow.
  • Leave two feet of space between the carts and other objects, such as trees, fences, garages, or snow piles.
  • Do not place carts on top of or behind a snowbank, or in water, where they could freeze to the ground.
  • Do not put the carts in the street. This can interfere with snow plowing.

Waste Reduction Tips for the Holiday Season

  • Choose LED holiday lights instead of traditional incandescent lights.
  • Remember to unplug tree lights at night and when away from home.
  • Use reusable bags for holiday shopping.
  • Read a product's label to determine its recyclability and whether or not it's made from recycled materials.
  • Get creative when wrapping gifts – use colorful news print or color you own designs on recyclable paper.
  • Send electronic holiday cards or use recycled, non-gloss paper that does not have glitter.
  • Capture food wastes and non-recyclable paper for organics recycling.

Proper Disposal (or Recycling) of Common Holiday Waste

Cardboard Saint Paul's recycling program has partnered with the Saint Paul Police Department and Eureka Recycling to help residents properly dispose of large boxes for free during the holiday season, helping to reduce the chances of home burglaries. The cardboard collection will occur from November 28, 2018 – January 8, 2019 at the Saint Paul Police Department Western District.

Only flattened cardboard will be accepted. Collection site is open and monitored 24/7. Saint Paul residents can bring large cardboard items to:
Saint Paul Police Department - Western District
389 Hamline Ave N (Visitor Parking Lot)

Cardboard and other recycling can also be dropped off year-round at Saint Paul's Recycling Drop Off Center located at 309 Como Ave. Drop Off Center hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. – Noon.

Plastic Bags Do not place plastic bags or plastic film inside your recycling cart. Plastic bags and film can only be recycled if they are brought to a drop-off location. To find a local collection site, visit

Wrapping Paper When in doubt, throw it out! If a person is unsure whether wrapping paper (or any other item) can be recycled or not, please place it in the garbage. Plain wrapping paper without foil or glitter can be recycled regularly in a recycling cart or dumpster. Wrapping paper with foil or glitter should be placed in the garbage.

StyrofoamTM Please remember that StyrofoamTM is not recyclable. Do not place StyrofoamTM products in the recycling cart or dumpster. Please place them in the garbage.

Holiday Lights Holiday lights and cords are not accepted in residential recycling collection; however, Saint Paul residents can drop off old or broken holiday lights, electric, telephone and appliance cords for recycling between December 17, 2018 – January 31, 2018 at the following locations:

  • Arlington Hills Library – 1200 Payne Ave
  • Dayton's Bluff Library – 645 E 7th St
  • Hayden Heights Library – 1456 White Bear Ave
  • Highland Park Library – 1974 Ford Pkwy
  • George Latimer Central Library – 90 West 4th St
  • Merriam Park Library – 1831 Marshall Ave
  • Rice Street Library – 1011 Rice St
  • Rondo Library – 461 N Dale St
  • Saint Anthony Park Library – 2245 Como Ave
  • Saint Paul Regional Water Services – 1900 Rice St
  • Sun Ray Library – 2105 Wilson Ave
  • West 7th Library – 265 Oneida St

For questions about recycling, visit For questions about the new citywide garbage service, residents can visit or call the city’s garbage information phone line at 651-266-6101.

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Media Contact:
Lisa Hiebert, APR
Saint Paul Public Works