Minnesota Supreme Court takes up controversial St. Paul trash collection program

The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case regarding St. Paul’s controversial trash collection program. 

During the hearing, the court is expected to make a decision on whether the city’s trash collection program should be put to a vote. 

Under the current system, trash and recycling contracts were awarded by neighborhood. But, many residents have been unhappy about the lack of choice and increased prices. 

A group suing the City of St. Paul says the case all comes down to who should decide who picks up the trash. 

When the new program debuted last year, the city assigned what trash haulers would be used in each part of the city.

The intent was to create uniform trash collection across the city, setting flat rates and cutting down on the number of garbage trucks driving down city streets and alleys. 

But, some residents say that plan is now costing them more money. They have sued the city over how St. Paul's trash is collected, arguing the question should be put to voters as a referendum. 

A Ramsey County judge agreed, but St. Paul is now appealing that decision and the case is now being heard before the state Supreme Court

If the justices rule against the city, the question of who decides who picks up the trash will be on the ballot in November.