Waste Connections - Recap of Changes

Let’s Talk Trash!

March 1 will be here soon and new procedures for our trash service will take effect. Many residents have asked me about this and unfortunately there is some confusion about the details. So, let’s cover everything…

Disclaimer - Everything in this article is my understanding based on the contract the city has with Waste Connections (read a copy HERE) and a few clarifications they recently provided to me. If something is incorrect, it doesn't override the contract or Waste Connections policies. With that in mind - Let’s dig in…

Background Info

Since the Waste Connections contract with Crestwood will expire in March 2024, the city began evaluating options back in June of 2023.

In recent years, various external factors such as labor shortages, escalating fuel prices, dump locations, dump fees, and environmental considerations have significantly impacted community solid waste programs across the St. Louis area.

The average rate among 17 local municipalities stands at $28.73 per month. Municipalities that recently renewed or signed new vendors (shown in red below) have seen significantly higher rates.

Additional study indicated that starting with a new vendor and new contract would surely result in a significant price increase for Crestwood, along with the disruption and hassle for residents. The resulting contract amendment ultimately saves every household at least $20-30 per month ($240-$360 every year) and the new model should result in fewer missed pickups or delays.

Here's what’s new:


  • A modest $1 increase totaling $21.78 per month (today’s rate is $20.78 per month).
  • Continued small annual increases for the next four years ($22.87, $24.01, $25.21, and $26.47 per month). Even 5-years from now, our monthly rate will be lower than today's regional average rate.

Trash Service

  • Trash collection will transition to the automated “arm” system like we’ve been using for recycling.
  • Waste Connections will provide each resident with a free 96-gallon trash cart. Additional carts can be rented at $8 per month.
  • If your family needs multiple carts, you will still be saving money compared to the rates other cities have received (which would have resulted in an extra $20-$30 per month for everyone).


  • Most of us have been using the 64-gallon recycle bin provided from Crestwood years ago. This will continue to be the container of choice.
  • Additional carts can be rented for $8/month per cart.
  • Recycle tubs / bins will no longer be allowed. If you don't have a recycle cart, you can call Waste Connections at 636-321-2100 and they will arrange to deliver one.

Yard Waste

  • Yard Waste collection will also transition to the automated “arm” system.
  • Waste Connections will provide each resident with another free 96-gallon trash cart for yard waste. Just like trash service - additional carts can be rented at $8 per month.
  • Specifically for yard waste - you can also use your own 64-gallon or 96-gallon cart(s) for no additional fee, but they must be compatible with the “arm” system (strong enough not to collapse when squeezed). Just to reiterate - you can only use your own (compatible) carts for yard waste - you need to use their carts for trash and recycle.
  • An example of a compatible cart is the Toter brand, sold at Home Depot.
  • In addition to using carts, you can also place up to 5 biodegradable yard waste bags per week. If you have more than 5 bags, you’ll need to contact Waste Connections and pay $5 per each extra bag for them to be collected.

Bulk Pickup

  • Collection of all bulky items must be scheduled by calling Waste Connections and there is a $21.87 charge.
  • There are restrictions on what they will pick up, so be sure to discuss that when you call.
  • Residents are limited to two (2) bulky items per service request.

A Note About Carts

  • Waste Connections will provide us all with two 96-gallon carts (one for trash, one for yard waste). If you would prefer the smaller 64-gallon carts, you will be able to notify them soon after delivery, and they will swap them out.
  • Trash and Recycle items need to fit within the cart, with the lid closed. If you OCASSIONALLY have a larger item that won’t fit in the cart (e.g. old curtain rod or an oddly shaped item), then you can place that next to the cart. If this becomes more of a habit, then Waste Connections may stop collecting them. So, try to get everything in the cart.
  • Yard Waste also needs to fit inside the cart (or within the allowable bags) but if you OCCASIONALLY need to place bundles of branches/etc next to the can, they will collect it.
  • If you have trash cans that aren’t compatible, you can use them for other purposes, sell them or give them away, or label them “Take this can” and place on the curb for collection.
  • If you have been renting a cart from Waste Connections, you can either continue renting it as an additional cart or call Waste Connections at 636-321-2100 to tell them you no longer want it (that stops the rental and they will arrange pickup).
  • Weight Limit – the Waste Connections flyer indicates the weight limit for the contents of the can is 60 pounds. I’m told this is a guideline and the trucks won’t be weighing your trash. The issue they have found is if the cart is overly heavy (e.g. 100+ pounds of stuff inside) it can break. So, if you’re your cart seems really heavy, then it’s probably too much – otherwise I bet it will be okay.

Big Leaf Weekends

  • It’s no secret – there are a few weekends each year when most of the leaves fall and when most of us put them to the curb. There are some yards that are larger and have lots of leaves.
  • A few facts – a yard waste bag is typically 30 gallons, but only holds about 23 gallons when filled to the “fill here” line. So, a 96-gallon cart plus 5-bags is roughly the equivalent of 9 bags per week.
  • I drove throughout Crestwood many times during those busy “leaf weekends” and while there were some homes that had the big line-up of bags, the new limits should work for nearly everyone. I know I know – not for you. So – here are your options.
  • Mulch the leaves first – this is the single biggest step to minimizing the volume you place at the curb. If you run your mower around (without bagging) just once, and then rake or bag – you’ll be amazed how compact those leaves get.
  • More carts – If you simply have too much, then get more carts. You can rent them for $8/month for the months when you need them. Of course, you can also use your own cart ($0/month) if they are compatible.
  • Repurpose a cart – You can put a big “X” with black tape on any of your other compatible carts and use them for yard waste.
  • Stage your bags – This is not ideal, but of course you can parcel out bags each week to stay within the limit.
  • I’m sure that for some people, that still doesn’t work. But I know of one resident that has a 1/2 acre yard with about 40 mature oak trees and he already makes this work with mulching and multiple carts (no bags).
  • This topic was discussed VERY MUCH by the Board of Alderman. In the end, the new contract will have save every resident $240 - $360 per year over other options and addresses the needs of the vast majority of residents every week of the year. You can rent a bunch of extra carts for a few months and still come out ahead.

What Isn’t Changing

While the method of "how" trash is picked up is changing, there are also things that won't change. For example, the discounted programs for seniors and low-income residents will remain.

Low-Income Discount Requirements - 60 years of age or older or disabled AND with a taxable income not exceeding 80% of area median income as it appears on the recent IRS Form 1040 or 1040A or 1040EZ. Qualified residents will receive a 72.5% discount.

Senior Discount Requirements – Households with at least one resident 65 years or older as of the beginning of the quarter of the current year, January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1. Qualified residents will receive a 10% discount.

Disabled Pickup – For residents not capable of placing containers at the curbside because of physical disability, Waste Connections can access trash carts placed next to a resident’s home. No additional charge for this service.

What Is and Isn’t Accepted - When we received the flyer from Waste Connections in the mail, some of the “Not Acceptable In Your Trash” items were a surprise to many. Specifically, it states that we can’t toss batteries into any of the carts. What??

I spoke with Waste Connections and St. Louis County and the bottom line is that the flyer is incorrect and we CAN toss our disposable batteries into the trash (Alkaline AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt). However – rechargeable batteries, button batteries, and car batteries are still a no no since they contain hazardous materials. There are other places to dispose of these (e.g. Home Depot) – so check out the St. Louis County Recycle Wizard website.

Still Have Questions?

Read the Waste Connection Flyer – it’s actually a pretty good document that explains what you can and can’t recycle, holiday schedule, cart placement, cart sizes and dimensions, dos and don’ts about placing trash in the cart, etc. You can read it HERE.

Contact Waste Connections directly at 636-321-2100.

Contact Crestwood Public Works at 314-729-4720.

If you still can’t get an answer, you can also contact me (contact info HERE)

Previous Communications on this Topic