History of the District

Shredded Plastic

Containers of shredded plastic awaiting shipment for further processing.

The St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District was formed in 1991 by Jefferson County, St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis, Missouri. St. Charles County joined the District in 2002. The District serves as a resource to assist the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in establishing and expanding waste reduction, recycling and composting efforts in the St. Louis area. Solid waste management impacts all of us and we must work together to minimize waste.

The District now serves more than 120 municipalities, as well as a significant amount of urban unincorporated areas. Given the volume and diversity of communities, a variety of waste reduction and recycling programs are needed.

Waste reduction and recycling gained prominence in Missouri when the Missouri Policy on Resource Recovery was announced in 1989. In order of highest priority, the elements of the integrated solid waste management hierarchy are: 1) reduce the amount of solid waste created; 2) reuse, recycle and compost; 3) recover and use energy from solid waste; and 4) incinerate or dispose in a sanitary landfill.

To help implement this policy, in 1990 the Missouri Solid Waste Management Act was amended by Senate Bill 530 (SB 530). The legislation set a goal of reducing the amount of solid waste generated statewide for disposal by 40 percent. To accomplish, SB 530 established a procedure allowing counties to form regional solid waste management districts to promote waste reduction and recycling. The law required each district to prepare a plan identifying waste reduction and recycling strategies. In addition, SB 530 created a statewide Solid Waste Management Fund to provide grants for plan implementation purposes.