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Recycle! Waste Disposal

Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Enforcement


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How Do I Dispose of…

Hazardous Household Waste 


Many common products are hazardous because they contain chemicals that are toxic, corrosive, flammable or reactive. Improper disposal (pouring down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the trash) can harm the environment and a pose a threat to human health. First and foremost, you should try to reduce the amount of unused, unwanted, or leftover household chemicals you create. With a little planning, it is easy to avoid creating HHW!


1.

Choose safer alternatives.

See our all-natural cleaning recipes for suggestions on replacing harsh commercial products with cost-effective natural substitutes. When purchasing commercial products, read the label and “signal words” to help you identify the hazard levels of the product to enable you to choose the safest alternative to do the job at hand!

Toxic or poison: Highly poisonous or toxic

Danger: Extremely flammable, corrosive or highly toxic

Warning: Moderately toxic or product has fewer hazards

Caution: Slightly toxic or product has minimal hazards

2.

Buy only as much of a product as needed and use products up entirely.

The large economy size is not a bargain if at the end of the job you have product you can't use.

3.

Store products properly.

Follow label direction for safe storage to maintain products in useable condition.

  •    Store products out of reach of children and pets.
  •    Store products in cool, dry areas with adequate ventilation.
  •    Keep products in their original containers with readable labels.
  •    Do not reuse containers for other purposes.
  •    Close lids tightly so that products will not dry out, evaporate or leak.
  •    Store away from sources of heat, spark or flame.

4.

Share or swap leftovers with others who can use them.

Neighbors, friends and relatives may be able to use the product up, eliminating the need to handle it as HHW.

5.

Recycle whenever you can.

Learn about recycling alternatives for common HHW materials such as motor oil, car batteries, rechargeable batteries, and fluorescent lights by visiting Management Options for Common Household Hazardous Wastes. 

6.

Make a reservation with Saint Louis Household Hazardous Waste.

HHW

Not all household hazardous product leftovers can be shared or recycled. If the label indicates the product should be disposed of through a community collection program, St. Louis County participates in the regional Saint Louis Household Hazardous Waste program. Up to 85% of the material collected will be recycled or recovered as waste to energy through this program. The remaining material is managed as regulated hazardous waste and in accordance with applicable regulations. To make a reservation to drop-off HHW visit www.hhwstl.com.


Medications And Sharps 

Medications

P2D2M

Missouri Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal (P2D2) sponsors medicine collection boxes at four Saint Louis County Police stations to provide a convenient, safe place for county residents to drop off the medicines they don’t need. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are accepted. The program is free, anonymous and available 24/7.



For a list of dropp off locations click here.


If a take-back program is not available, the FDA has the following recommendations for disposal in your household trash:


1.

Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.

2.

Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.

3.

Put the mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a sealable bag.

4.

Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty medications containers by covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.

5.

Place the sealed container with the mixture in the trash. Empty drug containers are recyclable in your single-stream curbside recycling program.


Sharps

According to the Saint Louis County Waste Code Section 607.897, residents can dispose of sharps in their regular trash. To protect sanitation workers, they must be packaged in rigid, leak-proof and puncture resistant containers (detergent bottle, for example), which are sealed prior to disposal.


Bulky Wastes and Appliances 

Bulky Items

Bulky items are large items like couches, chairs, household items, fixtures, wood etc. that will not fit in a residential waste container.


The Waste Code requires a Minimum Level of Service (MLS) to include a minimum of two bulky item pickups per year. Haulers may limit bulky waste collections to five (5) items per pick-up with a weight limit of sixty (60) pounds per item. Please contact your trash service provider for size and weight restrictions, or to schedule a bulky item pick-up.


Acceptable forms of bulky waste include: furniture (sofas, chairs, etc.), large root balls/stumps, miscellaneous (toys, garden equipment, bikes, etc.).


Unacceptable forms of bulky waste include: yard waste (leaves, grass, etc.), white goods (appliances such as stoves, ovens, washers, dryers, etc.), tires, automobile parts, and construction & demolition material.


Appliances

Since 1991, Missouri law has banned from landfill disposal major appliances (refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, trash compactors, hot water heaters and other white goods) and as such they are not included in the bulky waste collection required by Saint Louis County’s Minimum Level of Service requirements for residential trash haulers serving one- and two- family households.


However, you do have several options:


  1. Your hauler may be able to collect appliances for you, but it may require special arrangements and additional fees. Please contact your service provider for more information.
  2. If the appliance is in working condition you may try posting on a material exchange site such as freecycle.org or gigoit.org.
  3. Visit earth911.com to find charities or businesses near you that will accept your appliance for reuse or recycling.
  4. Lastly, please be aware that if you are having a new appliance delivered, many electronics retailers will remove the old appliance free of cost. Please inquire at time of purchase.

Yard Waste 

DUMPING YARD WASTE IS ILLEGAL!


Many people think because yard waste is biodegradable, it is “natural” to dump these materials over a fence or on common ground. Such dumping is not only unsightly and frequently creates nuisance conditions, it is illegal. The fine for dumping leaves, grass clippings, brush or trash and debris is $500 (Saint Louis County Solid Waste Management Code 607.310).


Missouri Law prohibits the disposal of yard waste in landfills, because it can be easily composted into a natural material the benefits Missouri soils. The disposal of grass clippings, brush, and tree limbs measuring six (6) inches or less in diameter with your regular waste is prohibited. Please follow the following guidelines for the proper storage and disposal of yard waste.


Storage:

Yard waste must be stored in a neat, clean, odor-free and sanitary manner. Containers for curbside collection of yard waste must conform to the requirements of your waste service provider. Please note: plastic bags are not allowed.


Disposal:

To properly dispose of yard wastes, a homeowner has the following options:

  1. Subscribe for yard waste collection service with your regular waste hauler. Call your hauler for details.
  2. Compost your own yard waste on your property.
    1. Saint Louis County Solid Waste Management Code 607.1005 prohibits fatty meats, bones, and pet feces in backyard composting. Municipalities may have additional code restrictions.
    2. Please visit our backyard composting page for more information
  3. Haul your own yard waste directly to a licensed yard waste compost facility for disposal. Please see the Licensed Facilities List   to determine the location nearest you.

Electronics 

Household Electronics

Many electronics contain toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic. When these substances find their way into the waste stream, they may threaten the environment and human health. If possible, we should try to keep them out of landfills.


So what can you do with an old computer, television set, cell phone or other electronic item? Local charities or schools may accept some reusable consumer electronics, especially newer computer models (not technologically obsolete). Always call first to make sure they can use your equipment. Other electronics can be given to a family member, friend or neighbor.


Some dealers, retailers or manufacturers will take back old equipment when new equipment is purchased. Ask your dealer or manufacturer about programs to accept old equipment for resale or recycling.


Also, consumers can bring items to local drop-off locations where the equipment is either refurbished or recycled. Fees may apply for certain items (computer monitors, televisions, office copiers, etc.) to offset the labor and disposal costs for properly managing end-of-life electronics.


Saint Louis County is a partner of e-cycle St. Louis... This regional partnership registered numerous facilities in the area as official collection sites for e-cycle St. Louis where the equipment is either refurbished or recycled. Fees may apply for certain items (computer monitors, televisions, office copiers, etc.) to offset the labor and disposal costs for properly managing end-of-life electronics. Click here to find a location near you.


Please know that while it is undesirable, electronic waste generated at a residence is exempt from hazardous waste regulation, and can be discarded in your bulky waste pick-up.


Special Note for Businesses, Non-Profits, Schools

Did you know that all businesses, non-profits, schools, and public agencies in Missouri are required by law to properly manage certain end-of-life electronics that may be classified as hazardous waste under Missouri law? Computer monitors, televisions, circuit boards, and other electronics contain excess heavy metals so they cannot be disposed of in the trash. In addition to e-cycle St. Louis collection sites , there are several options available in the Saint Louis region, including reuse and recycling. Contact a local recycler or click here for more proper waste management options and regulatory requirements.


Household Cleanout 

After donating reusable items and recycling where possible, a homeowner may still have a large quantity of “junk” that needs disposal. A resident has the option to haul these wastes themselves and pay the tipping fees. Visit the Licensed Facilities List   to determine the closest landfill, transfer station or waste processing facility nearest you. Always call the facility to determine hours of operations and fees.


If hauling yourself is not an option, you may rent a roll-off container. Make sure to ask for the company’s County Health License number to ensure the hauler is licensed to operate in St. Louis County and check with local public works for any placement restrictions. Beware of “fly by night” haulers or those who offer unrealistically low pricing to haul your junk away. Frequently these characters illegally dump and pocket the cash!


Check out the Types of Waste and Management Requirements page for proper storage of household discards.


Please Note: Except for bulky waste and construction & demolition waste, any collected municipal solid waste must be removed within one week (Waste Management Code 607.145). However, any waste container which is full must be removed regardless how long it has been stored.


Construction & Demolition (C&D) 

These waste materials are from the construction and demolition of residential, industrial or commercial structures. These wastes are not to be confused with Bulky Wastes, which have different storage and disposal requirements.


1. Many C&D items can be recycled or reused. Check out our C&D Recycling page for a list of local outlets for common C&D materials.
2. C&D is not considered bulky waste; however, check with your hauler as they may be willing to accept certain items with regular trash pick-up or for bulky waste collection. By County ordinance, residential haulers are required to provide two bulky pick-ups annually as part of the regular trash collection service.
3. With Waste Management Inc’s Bagster Collection Service, you can purchase large tarp-like bags from local retailers and schedule pick-up with WMI.
4. Search for companies that rent roll-off containers. Depending on the quantity and size, renting a construction dumpster may be necessary.
  1. If you live in a municipality, be sure to contact your municipal city hall regarding possible permit requirements.
  2. If you live in unincorporated, Public Works requires the following:
1. If a dumpster or a POD (storage device) will be on site less than 2 weeks, no permit is required. The dumpster or POD should be placed in the driveway or on grass.
2. If a dumpster or a POD (storage device) will be on site more than 2 weeks, it shall be considered a temporary structure and a permit will be required from St. Louis County Public Works. Please contact Public Works for more information.
5. Residents are allowed to haul their own waste to a licensed facility up to 5 times per year. Please see our Licensed Facilities List   for a facility licensed to accept C&D near you.

Please know that construction and demolition waste must be placed and stored in a mobile waste container that is covered or otherwise secured to prevent waste from escaping the container. Container is full when no more waste can be added without making it unsafe or illegal to transport.