St. Paul Deserves a Better Trash Program

The City’s current OTC program

St. Paul’s current system for its organized residential trash collection is the result of a 5 year contract that the City signed in November of 2017. The City contracted with a “consortium” of trash haulers, effectively creating a monopoly for the collection of residential trash removal in St. Paul.   

The City’s contract with the Consortium became effective on October 1, 2018; it is due to expire on September 30, 2023. 

There was widespread dissatisfaction with the City’s  new organized trash plan, prior to its rollout.

Residents gathered more than 6000 signatures in support of a referendum on the ordinance that created the new organized trash program, a number legally sufficient to put the plan to a popular vote.  When the City denied the residents their right to put the plan to a vote, the residents were forced to sue the City. 

In February of 2019, residents sued the City, seeking to enforce their right to hold a referendum on the City’s ordinance that created its new trash collection program.

In May of 2019 the Ramsey County district court ruled in favor of the residents, upholding their right to put the City’s new trash collection ordinance to a vote.  The City then took an appeal from Judge Castro’s May 30, 2019, ruling

The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the Ramsey County ruling; the Minnesota Supreme court upheld the St. Paul citizens’ right to have the City trash plan put to a vote.

Despite 20,000 votes against the City’s plan, a majority of the residents voted in its favor.

The City recently created a Garbage Advisory Board to review the current trash program and make recommendations on ways to improve it.  A panel of 18 people were selected from a group of more than 50 people seeking to serve on this advisory board. 

The Garbage Advisory Committee meets every two weeks to review various issues.  These meetings are held on Thursday evenings at the Rondo Library.  The meetings are open to the public.  Residents may attend in person or remotely via Microsoft Teams.

Meeting agendas, materials and past meeting minutes and videos are being posted on a St. Paul City web page for this Garbage Advisory Committee.