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Lawsuit accuses St. Louis of deceptive recycling practices, unjust charges

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ST. LOUIS – A lawsuit recently filed against the City of St. Louis claims the city discontinued its recycling pickup services several years ago but is still charging some residents for services unoffered.

The lawsuit also contends that city trash trucks have been picking up recyclables and garbage at the same time without separating items from both forms of disposal.

Chesterfield resident Delia De Santiago Lizama, who has also owned property in the City of St. Louis, presented these allegations and more in a lawsuit filed last Thursday.


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The city charges a $14 monthly fee for its solid waste services. According to the lawsuit, the city claims the program offers “at least once a week collection for trash pickup and recycling pickup” and “single stream recycling services to all city residents.”

The lawsuit further states that the city admitted to stopping its “collection of household recyclables” since 2021 but also “began routinely emptying recycling containers into its trash trucks” right around that time. Recycling and trash are then mixed together and emptied into the same landfill, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asserts that the city “still charges its residential customers for recycling pickup as part of the monthly fee for its solid waste services program and has not issued a refund.” It cites a 2022 article from the Riverfront Times in support of various allegations.

Lizama accuses the city of breaching an agreement and unjust restitution. The lawsuit requests to reward damages of undisclosed amounts to an undisclosed amount of people represented through a “class,” in addition to declaratory and injunctive relief.

Over the last year-plus, FOX 2 has reported on several concerns with garbage services in the St. Louis area. In some cases, those have led to illegal dumping in north St. Louis near a border with St. Louis County.

FOX 2 has reached out to the St. Louis Mayor’s Office for comment on the lawsuit, but we have yet to hear back.

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