Recovered Materials Facilities
General Information


Diverting waste from landfills is essential in the effort to conserve energy and preserve natural resources. Waste diversion not only extends the life of existing landfills, it promotes sustainable living while protecting public health and the environment. Previously landfill-bound materials are given new life through use, reuse and recycling.

Saint Louis County licenses three types of facilities for the processing of recovered materials: recycling centers, waste processing facilities, and compost facilities.

Recycling Centers

A recycling center is a facility that only accepts source-separated materials. These are materials that have been set apart from the waste stream at the point of origination. Recycling centers process these incoming materials and prepare them for shipment and sale to the market. Once sold, materials are then further refined into raw materials or used as new products.

As consumer awareness and recycling marketes grow, more recycling centers are being established in Saint Louis County. Many of these facilities accept your curbside recyclables, while others accept items such scrap metal, electronics, concrete and asphalt.   Recycling Centers Open to the Public 

Waste Processing Facilities

Waste processing facilities differs from recycling centers, as these facilities often handle large amounts of solid waste but separate salvageable materials and prepare them for sale to the market. A common example of this is recovering asphalt shingles from mixed loads of demolition and construction debris. Several more companies have applied for licensing new processing facilities to recover more recyclable materials from the waste stream.   Waste Processing Facilities Open to the Public 

Compost Facilities

Saint Louis County currently licenses two types of compost facilities: (1) those that accept yardwaste only, and (2) those that process additional organics. Saint Louis County has several commercial compost facilities who accept yard waste and sell the end-compost products. In addition, a few municipal compost operations that compost leaves and brush give the end-product back to their residents.

Composting of other organics besides yard waste such as manures, fruit and vegetable wastes, pallets, and post-consumer food is an increasing trend. In 2009 one facility received approval to accept additional organics. Several more facilities are seeking licenses to expand into other organics for composting. Compost Facilities Open to the Public 

The Future of Recycling

The solid waste industry and others recognize new business opportunities in the remanufacturing of recovered goods. More and more items that were once considered waste are now seen as viable products or commodities. A variety of methods are being developed to increase beneficial reuse of more materials thus establishing additional recovery facilities and businesses. This is an exciting prospect for the solid waste industry. This change in focus not only creates new jobs and markets, it is also the first step in minimizing waste and is crucial to sustainable living.