Maybe you’ve heard some bad news lately about the current state of recycling in the St. Louis metropolitan area and elsewhere around the nation. Many communities are considering whether it’s worthwhile to continue their single stream recycling programs due to rising costs.
As a City of St. Peters resident, this is what you need to know about our recycling program: St. Peters’ dual stream recycling system works the best in today’s market and you will continue to have the best recycling program in the state of Missouri without significant cost increases.
The main problem lies with “single stream” recycling, where all recycling is combined and collected in one cart. Single stream recycling has an inherent amount of contamination because all containers and paper are mixed together. An example of contamination is when a liquid or food item in a container contaminates the paper mixed in with that container. China was the No. 1 importer of single stream recycling, but has severely restricted its imports due to the contamination of single stream recycling. Today, the market is saturated with single stream recyclables that nobody wants to buy.
The City of St. Peters is different. We have a dual stream system where you place all of your recyclables in Blue Bags and then place them in with your trash. This is dual stream since it includes trash and recyclables in the same collection cart.
St. Peters’ dual stream recycling system remains marketable because of a very low contamination rate due to the process of separating containers from paper items. When you recycle by placing containers in one Blue Bag and paper items in a separate Blue Bag, the City of St. Peters can sort these recyclables and sell them on the open market to help offset our costs for trash and recycling services. It helps to keep our resident’s solid waste fees low.
The Blue Bag recycling system and processing facility at Recycle City has set up the City of St. Peters for long-term success. Our community truly is a model for recycling, and we might even be able to help other communities that are interested in using our dual system processing service. This could be a win-win for both those communities and ours, as they would be able to continue their recycling systems at an affordable fee and our City could develop another revenue stream to offset the cost of our recycling program.