Types of Waste and Requirements
General Information


Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

This term refers to household waste and commercial, industrial, agricultural, governmental, and institutional solid wastes which have chemical and physical characteristics similar to those of household waste. Municipal solid waste must be taken to facilities licensed to accept MSW for processing and disposal. Dumping on unlicensed premises is illegal and subject to financial penalties and prosecution.

If waste collection service is reasonably available for an occupied premises an agreement shall be in effect for the collection of waste with a waste collection service having waste collection vehicles licensed by the Director for the collection, transportation, and disposal of waste. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the premises and all adult occupants of the premises to assure that an agreement for the collection of waste is in effect (Waste Management Code 607.140).

If you do not have trash service and would like to find out more, please visit here.

Management Requirements:
  • Municipal solid waste (other than demolition, construction and bulky wastes) should be removed no less that once per week.
  • No person shall deposit waste in another person’s container, or in a container not designed or approved for waste disposal.

Yard waste cannot be deposited in your normal trash. Please see Yard By-Products for further information on how to dispose of yard waste.

Residential waste:

Waste must be deposited and stored in galvanized metal, rubber, fiberglass or plastic containers or plastic bags. Waste storage containers shall be leakproof, waterproof, fly-tight and remain properly covered at all times. Containers should be no less than twenty (20) gallons and no larger than thirty-five (35) gallons, unless otherwise approved by your trash service provider. Area surrounding the containers must remain clean, neat odor-free and sanitary (Waste Management Code 607.070).

Containers and bulky/non-containerized waste must be stored at least three (3) feet behind the front of the main residential structure. Containers must be placed at collection point (as determined by your waster service provider) no earlier than dusk of the day prior to pick-up. Containers must be returned to their appropriate storage places following pick-up, on the same day as collection (Waste Management Code 607.120).

Non-residential waste and residential waste from multifamily residences of four (4) or more units:

Waste shall be stored in containers that are spillproof, leakproof and shall be covered at all times. Area surrounding the containers must remain clean, neat odor-free and sanitary (Waste Management Code 607.080).

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Demolition and Construction Waste

These waste materials are from the demolition and construction of residential, industrial or commercial structures.

Demolition and construction 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. When container is full, it must be removed by a licensed hauler and deposited at a facility licensed to accept such wastes (Waste Management Code 607.130).

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Special Waste (Non-Residential)

Special waste is any waste that has physical and/or chemical characteristics that as declared by the Director or MDNR has the potential to require special handling. Examples include but are not limited to sludges, ash, contaminated soils, process residues, medical special waste, and solid wastes that have been buried outside the permitted waste disposal boundary of a licensed landfill.

Special waste from industrial/commercial sources and sewer sludges shall be stored in a manner that does not pose a significant hazard or nuisance in the workplace, to the public or the environment and as approved in the Special Waste Application The storage area shall be accessible only to authorized personnel, and exterior storage area shall be locked or otherwise secured at all times. If you are a generator of Special Waste and would like to learn more about disposal options within Saint Louis County, please visit our Special Waste Permits section.

Special wastes must be hauled by a Special Waste Licensed Hauler. Interested in becoming a Licensed Special Waste Hauler? Please visit our Waste Hauling Licenses section to learn more.

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Organic Waste

Organic waste means any natural carbon-hydrogen based material by-product from food preparation, clothing, agricultural and horticultural operations, landscape maintenance, forestry and timber industry, animal and human waste, bio-solids or other materials originally from plants or animals. Examples include, but are not limited to: food scraps, yard trimmings, fruit and vegetable produce culls, sawdust, wood chips, limbs, manures, dead animals and other similar materials.

Many organic wastes can be composted safely in your backyard. For more information, please visit our Residential Composting page.

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Yard By-Products

Yard by-products refers to source-separated leaves, grass clippings, yard and garden vegetation, tree limbs six (6) inches or less in diameter, and Christmas trees. The term does not include waste generated in the production of decorative or ceremonial items, stumps, roots or shrubs with intact root balls.

Missouri Law prohibits the disposal of yard waste in landfills. The disposal of grass clippings, brush, and tree limbs measuring six (6) inches or less in diameter with your regular waste is prohibited.

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.

To properly dispose of yard wastes, there are the following options:

  • Subscribe for yard waste collection service with your regular waste hauler.
  • Compost your own yard waste on your property.
    • Please Note: Saint Louis County Waste Management Code 607.1005 prohibits fatty meats, bones, and pet feces for backyard composting. Municipalities may have additional code restrictions.
    • Yard waste to be composted must come from within the boundaries of the property it is being composted on, and must only be used on that same property. Municipalities may have additional code restrictions.
  • 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.

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Hazardous Waste (Non-Residential)

Hazardous waste is any waste, or combination of wastes, as determined by rule or regulation of the Missouri Hazardous Waste Commission, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness, or pose a present or potential threat to the health of humans or the environment.

The state of Missouri has imposed a landfill ban on regulated hazardous waste. If you are a generator of hazardous please, please contact Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a list of facilities licensed to accept such waste.

All hazardous waste must be prominently labeled “HAZARDOUS WASTE” and stored in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations.

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Infectious and Biohazard Waste

These wastes contain pathogens of sufficient virulence and quantity that exposure to these wastes by a susceptible human host could result in infection. Examples of these wastes include wastes generated from patients with communicable diseases, cultures and stocks of etiologic agents, surgery and autopsy wastes, sharps and contaminated laboratory wastes.

Residential: 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.

Non-Residential: All infectious waste must be stored in a sealed, leakproof container prominently marked “INFECTIOUS WASTE” or “BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE.” Discarded sharps must be placed in containers which are also rigid and puncture-resistant. All containers must be clearly marked with the universal biohazard symbol. All wastes should be stored in a manner that does not pose significant hazard or nuisance in the workplace, to the public, or to the environment ( Waste Management Code 607.090).


Recovered Materials (Recycling)

These are materials that have been diverted or removed from the solid waste stream for sale, reuse or recycling, whether or not they require subsequent separation and processing. This does not include yard by-products.

In Saint Louis County, most residents have single stream curbside recycling that accepts most household recyclables. Many recovered materials see new life through innovative thinking and technological advancements. Additional recyclables include consumer electronics, tires, vehicle batteries, plastic grocery bags, clothes, and appliances. For more information please visit our Recycling Information page.

Recovered materials must be stored in a neat, clean, odor-free and sanitary manner and stored at the same property in which they were generated. Containers for collection and storage of recyclables must conform to the requirements of your service provider.

Recycling collection in Saint Louis County is handled by private haulers or municipalities. Some municipalities may use a back door recycling service while many other municipalities and subdivisions use the curbside collection method. Check with your hauler to find out their requirements. For more information about recycling carts, visit What Can I Recycle Curbside: Unincorporated recycling cart information.

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