ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is living up to her promise of returning the recycling program this month. It restarts on May 31.
The update was announced during a press conference on Thursday where leaders outlined a revamped refuse program.
"I think most people in St. Louis would agree, our old collection system hasn't worked consistently for everyone,” Executive Operations Director for St. Louis Nancy Cross said.
Tower Grove neighbor Arianna Martir said a trash program overhaul was desperately needed.
"I've seen a couch down there for about three weeks straight. it's terrible,” Matir said.
City leaders said the changes will bring consistency and equity to all neighborhoods across the city. High-yield neighborhoods could get two weekly pickups based on the new, data-driven program.
For months, the city’s alleyway recycling pickup has been on hold because there’s a shortage of drivers. Nine drivers have been hired, two have received their $3,000 bonus.
City leaders said they hope to cut down on recycling contamination.
"Recycling is vital for our future, Saint Louis Recycles Program Manager Elysia Musumeci said. “It helps create cleaner healthier and a more sustainable St. Louis. Recycling also creates jobs and helps product our limited resources. Only 11% of our materials are being diverted from landfills. We aren't doing as good of numbers as we can .”
The city is also infusing $1 million into the Trash Task Force, the SLMPD partnership that’s tasked with cleaning up the illegal dumping problem.
"They are going from 200 cameras to 500 cameras,” Refuse Commissioner Todd Waelterman said. “These 500 cameras will be on steroids, will be live going back to police officers office whether than going to have to visit the site.”
The program is data-driven and still evolving. The city is guaranteeing all neighborhoods get one weekly pickup, high yield neighbors could get two pickups.