City of Ferguson Oops Tag

Due to concerns about COVID-19, Oops Tagging in your area has been postponed. You will receive a phone call from Republic Services before we begin. Thank you for your patience. Visit here for any COVID-19 & Coronavirus questions. If you have any questions about the Oops Tag curbside audit program, please see below, or contact us at [email protected] or 314-615-8958.

Oops Tag Program

Thank you, City of Ferguson, for participating in the Oops Tag program, joining forces with Republic Services and Saint Louis County Department of Public Health to fight recycling contamination! Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, there will be Quality Inspectors in the community doing a quick check of curbside recycling containers to make sure that recycling is being done properly. If there are unacceptable items in your recycling, they will leave an “Oops!” tag attached to the cart that identifies what the items are. Once you remove the unacceptable items, your cart will be serviced on your next recycling pickup day.

Please call 314-615-8958 or email [email protected] for with any questions.

Come learn more at upcoming community events!

Ferguson Winter Market

Date: TBD

Republic Services and Saint Louis County staff will be on-hand to answer any questions that you may have in regard to recycling and the “Oops!” tag program.

Ferguson Library Presentation

Puppet Show/Puppet Making Craft Activity.

Date: TBD.

“How Recycling Changed My Life” is the tale of a third grader whose job it is to take out the trash. This is lively puppet show features a sneaky villain, talking recyclables, and flying objects! The show will be followed by a puppet making craft activity.


1. Why didn’t they empty my cart?

An orange “Oops!” tag on your cart indicates that our inspectors found an unacceptable item or items in your recycling cart. If you look on the tag, there should be a mark next to the item you will need to remove. Once you have corrected this, the cart will be serviced on your service day the following week.

If you did not have a tag on your cart, please contact Republic Services (636) 947-5959 to inquire about your trash and recycling service.

2. Who is checking my cart?

Staff members from St. Louis County Department of Public Health – Waste Management Program and employees of Republic Services will be conducting the quality checks.

3. When will the Quality Inspectors check my cart?

Your cart will be checked in the morning on you service day beginning before it is collected April 6th, 2020 through mid-May. We will only check your cart when you set it at the curb for Republic Services to pick it up. We will not go onto your property to check your cart.

4. What are the Quality Inspectors looking for?

The inspectors are only checking your cart for items that do not go in the recycling cart. Please refer to the picture above to see what does and does not go in the recycling cart. You can also download a PDF of some of the most common unwanted items.

5. What should I do if I get an “Oops” Tag?

If you received an Oops Tag, please take the unwanted items out of you cart.

6. Why was the “Other” box checked on my OOPS tag? What is “Other”?

The other category covers materials not on the tag, but nor allowed in recycling. If you did not have an additional information sheet left with the “OOPS” tag you can download it here. (ATTACH RECYCLING INFORMATION SHEET PDF) This sheet lists the most common items that people mistakenly recycle.

7. Why did I get a Thank You tag?

If you received an “OOPS!” tag and then corrected the problem we will leave a “Thank You” tag on your cart just to let you know we appreciate your efforts.

8. Why didn’t I get a tag?

You did not receive a tag because inspectors saw no unacceptable items in your cart. Please note: Weather or routing issues may prevent us from getting to every cart every week.

Have more questions? Contact us: 314-615-8958
[email protected]

9. What if I don’t correct my cart?

Your recycling cart cannot be serviced if there is known contamination inside. If you do not wish to recycle, the contents can be emptied into your trash can for collection as trash.

10. What if I do not wish to recycle?

You are not required to recycle. However, recycling is included in your minimal level of service whether you choose to recycle or not your fees for trash service will remain the same. If you do not wish to store your recycling container, please call Republic Services (636) 947-5959 to pick up and remove the empty cart.

11. What if I make too much trash for one trash can?

Please reconsider recycling. Up to 70% of household trash can be recycled. If this does not work for you, please call Republic Services (636) 947-5959 to increase your trash service. There is an additional cost for additional trash container pick up.