Solid Waste Management District Helps Communities Become More Sustainable

Solid Waste Management District

The St. Louis – Jefferson Solid Waste Management District is a regional agency that was created in 1993 to assist the public, private and nonprofit sectors in establishing and expanding waste reduction and recycling. The District includes the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. For more information visit www.swmd.net or call 314-645-6753.


Associations, Organizations and resources
America Recycles Day – www.americarecyclesday.org
Earth 911 – www.earth911.org
e-cycle Missouri – www.e-cyclemo.org
Envirolink – www.envirolink.org
Global Recycling Network – www.grn.com
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program – www.HHWSTL.com
Keep America Beautiful – www.Kab.org
Missouri Recycling Association – www.mora.org
National Recycling Coalition – www.nrcrecycles.org
Resource St. Louis – www.resourcestlouis.org
St. Louis Green – www.stlouisgreen.com
The Healthy Planet magazine

City of St. Louis – www.stlouis-mo.gov
(Search Recycling, click Refuse Division’s Recycling Program)
Jefferson County Residents – www.jeffcomo.org
(Then go to Services and click Recycling)
St. Louis County Recycling Information – www.recyclesaintlouis.com
St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District – www.swmd.net
St. Charles County Recycling Information – www.scchealth.org/docs/es/docs/recycle

City of St. Louis and Operation Brightside Partner To Reach Full Recycling Potential

In 2011, blue recycling dumpsters and roll-out carts began appearing throughout St. Louis City streets and alleys. This resulted in an immediate increase in recycling collection, and quickly raised the City’s diversion rate (percentage of waste diverted from the landfill) from 2% to 10%. However, since the initial implementation, the diversion rate has remained stagnant. The good news is that the city has a great opportunity to grow recycling in St. Louis. Thanks to the generous support of the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the City’s Refuse Division has partnered with Brightside St. Louis (aka Operation Brightside). Together, they will target and overcome the challenges in order to help St. Louis reach its full recycling potential.

With SWMD grant funding, Brightside will develop and implement a Block Captain Recycling Engagement pilot project. This pilot project will help increase recycling participation in St. Louis by providing residents with the knowledge, resources and motivation they need to keep valuable materials out of the landfill. The project will focus on areas with low recycling participation and will use a variety of tools and community outreach methods to spread recycling awareness and increase participation levels. Brightside’s network of volunteer block captains will assist with outreach and education and will give residents an opportunity to teach each other about recycling. To further assist residents in taking the first step toward recycling, Brightside will also provide in-home recycling bins and educational materials to over 3,000 households in the pilot areas.

Additionally, Brightside will start loaning recycling roll carts to neighborhood groups doing clean-up projects as part of the Blitz program. While cleaning up city streets and alleys, groups will be able to easily separate recyclable materials from other litter using the new carts.

Through this pilot project, residents will learn about the many options available for recycling and the wide variety of items that can be recycled. Developing a better understanding of the importance and the difference they can make, they will be more likely to recycle valuable resources. Not only does recycling divert valuable resources from landfills, it keeps commodities in our region. This helps strengthen the job force of our local recycling and remanufacturing industry. Recycling is the first step to living a more sustainable lifestyle and this project will engage the community and encourage residents to act together for the betterment of their health, environment and neighborhoods.

The lessons learned from this project will help Brightside develop a set of best practices that can be replicated in neighborhoods across the City to further increase recycling participation and waste diversion.

Maplewood Home To Many Green Businesses

The City of Maplewood is quite a place to discover (or rediscover) these days. Within just a short walk, you will find award-winning restaurants, unique shopping opportunities and often great events. The many fine dining establishments in particular share a distinctive honor. Many of Maplewood’s restaurants are members of St. Louis Earth Day’s Green Dining Alliance (GDA).

When 25% of the businesses joined the GDA, Maplewood became the nation’s first Green Dining District (GDD). The area stood out as a natural model as a district with a high walkability score and large concentration of independent businesses in the 7200 and 7300 blocks of Manchester and the 2700 block of Sutton. In designing the program, the GDA developed member practices, such as eliminating the use Styrofoam products, participation in single stream recycling, phasing in CFLs and/or LEDs lighting, and setting additional waste reduction goals.

Some of the local temptations include award-winning chocolate, organic foods, specialty cocktails, fresh roasted coffee, a mobile solar-powered coffee cart, a variety of teas, fresh baked bread, breakfast, and even a choice of mini pies, quiches and pot pies. Those who enjoy sports, events, live music and a vibrant atmosphere will surely find their comfort zone as well.

The following restaurants are members of the GDD, including some in process:
• Art House Coffee/Living Room
• Bolyard’s
• Foundation Grounds
• Great Harvest Bakery Co.
• Kakao Chocolate
• Pie Oh My!
• Schlafly Bottleworks
• Something Elegant
• Stone Spiral Coffee and Curios
• The Crow’s Nest
• The Post Sports Bar & Grill
• Traveling Tea
• Water Street

Sustainability is a thread that weaves through many other Maplewood businesses. The architectural firms of Hellmuth-Bicknese Architects and the Architectural Design Guild utilize green building criteria. Cowell Engineering is an active member of the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the US Green Building Council and supports sustainability practices in their field. Shur-Way Auto Body is the first “green” body shop in the Midwest. Shur-Way has been using environmentally safe products since 2007; they are constantly pursuing better performing and safer products to stay on the cutting edge. You will find them at 3540 GREENwood, which should be easy to remember!

You can learn more about these businesses or take a self-guided tour of Maplewood’s Green Dining District, by visiting online at www.cityofmaplewood.com/gdd.

University City: Leader In Commercial & Residential Recycling

A well-established recycling program is one of the many longstanding and progressive services of University City. In 1974, the City of University City became one of the first municipalities in the country to offer curbside newspaper recycling to its residents. Since then, the program has expanded into a single-stream recycling program. In 2008, the City implemented one of the first curbside single-stream recycling programs in the state. Now every resident has curbside recycling service and nearly every business has access to complimentary recycling service when using University City solid waste service.

Today University City continues to expand and improve its recycling program. The City obtained a grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to upgrade its 24-hour, 7 days a week, recycling depository center. In addition to aluminum, paper, plastic, glass, etc., the center accepts textiles. A new plastic film collection program is being developed to accommodate additional recycling options. The drop off center should accept a variety of plastic film, such as bags for dry cleaning, bread, produce and cereal. Product wrapping, such as bubble wrap and shrink wrap for electronics and furniture will also be part of the program services. The City hopes the upgrades to and education of the recycling drop-off site will increase recycling rates in the City and the surrounding communities.

University City also received a grant from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to improve and expand its commercial recycling program throughout the City, beginning with the University City Loop. Businesses in University City have the option of using private haulers or the City trash service. The City has begun reaching out to these businesses and promoting the City’s competitive commercial rates and advantages of using the City’s service. There is justification for the businesses to change services; private haulers charge for recycling service whereas the city does not. This means the more the business recycles, thus reducing the volume of landfill/trash waste, the less the business pays for trash service. It is a simple, clear, and economical benefit for utilizing the City’s Service.

In combination with expanding commercial service in University City, an exterior public space recycling program is being developed as part of this project. Although the businesses generate much more recyclable waste than the patrons in public spaces, it is important for recycling to be included in all aspects of University City. This not only shows true commitment to recycling by the City, but also fosters a climate for recycling in an area where the City, residents and patrons are already committed to “going green.”

For additional information, please email jwendt@ucitymo.org or call 314-505-8562.