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St. Louis residents urged to use recycling drop-off sites until jobs are filled

St. Louis residents urged to use recycling drop-off sites until jobs are filled

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City works harder at cleaning up trash

City refuse worker Chris Rader, 33, empties a dumpster in the alley behind Castleman Avenue in St. Louis on Monday, April 2, 2018. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — The city's Refuse Division is urging residents to use area drop-off locations for recycling amid a labor shortage that has led to trash and recyclables being mixed together temporarily.

Refuse officials on Friday released a list of nearly 30 locations where residents can drop off their recycling to have it properly processed. Those locations, along with hours and availability, can be found here.

“As we continue to search for applicants to fill vacant positions, the Division asks residents to drop off recycling at nearly 30 locations across the City until this long-standing shortage is resolved,” Refuse Commissioner Todd Waelterman said in a statement. 

The Post-Dispatch this week highlighted the shortfall of 800 civil service employees and the problems it was causing, particularly for refuse collection. 

City officials told the Post-Dispatch that labor shortages preceded the COVID-19 outbreak, although the pandemic and a hiring freeze have been a factor, too. 

Until more refuse workers are hired, trash and recycling in alley dumpsters, where 80% of city residents drop off their recyclables, will be mixed together to consolidate pickups. 

City officials also encouraged those interested to apply for the openings, which include starting pay of $15 an hour, benefits and a one-time hiring bonus of $1,500 after a work testing period. The positions require a commercial driver's license permit, and completion of training with the city.

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