St. Paul has chosen FCC Environmental Services to take over most of the city's trash collection in 2025, replacing the five companies currently servicing the capital city.

In a Friday announcement, city leaders also revealed they're entering the garbage business, with plans to purchase five trucks that will eventually handle 10% of St. Paul's solid waste collections.

FCC Environmental's selection is not a done deal. The city will now enter into contract negotiations with the global waste management company, which would also pick up bulky items, yard waste and recycling for multi-unit properties.

Officials will look to negotiate an additional contract with Minneapolis-based Eureka Recycling to handle recycling for single-family homes.

If deals are reached, the new recycling haulers would take over collections in November, and trash haulers would change hands in April 2025. Until contracts are signed, city officials said they do not know how residents' rates will change. Property taxes will not be affected by the switch.

"I look forward to this next phase of organized hauling, which addresses the major concerns we hear from residents, while advancing our goals for a cleaner and more sustainable city," Mayor Melvin Carter said in a statement.

Garbage became the hottest issue in St. Paul in 2018 when the city implemented organized trash collection, shifting away from a decades-old system that left individual property owners arranging their own method of waste disposal.

City leaders at the time said the new system was supposed to scale back truck traffic, pollution and wear-and-tear on streets, while also standardizing rates. But opponents said the new system did nothing to reduce the amount of trash and ended long relationships with local haulers. They succeeded in putting the question up for a citywide vote in 2019.

Organized trash collection won, but many concerns and hard feelings remained. St. Paul is under contract with a consortium of five trash-hauling companies that generated thousands of complaints for missed collections in 2022.

Once the city has its own staff and equipment, "it allows us to step in if there's a failure on any of the hauler's parts," Public Works Director Sean Kershaw said in an interview.

The City Council will vote Wednesday to spend $2.1 million on the five trucks. Down the road, the city will also need facilities to store the trucks, Kershaw said.

He added that he expects Public Works will have about 18 additional staffers dedicated to trash collections by spring of 2025, including some already hired to handle customer service and cart management. The city plans to take over billing in April 2025.

St. Paul leaders also hope the city's involvement will help keep prices down. Deputy Mayor Jaime Tincher said prospective haulers have been listing rates for St. Paul that are substantially higher than those for neighboring cities, citing difficulties navigating alleys, which don't receive snow removal services from the city.

"If we can take those routes out of the mix, there can't be an excuse for St. Paul having higher rates across the board," Tincher said.

Officials said there will be greater opportunities for neighbors to share trash carts and limited opportunities for residents to opt out of trash collection — two sticking points among critics of the current system.

Carter appointed a trash advisory group, whose recommendations in late 2022 drove the city's requests for proposals from prospective haulers. The city received applications from eight companies, who were scored on factors such as philosophy and approach, sustainability practices, labor and workforce history, and customer service experience.

A ninth application came from Minneapolis-based Emerge Enterprises, the only firm focused solely on mattress disposal. Kershaw said the city has been running a "phenomenally successful" pilot with the nonprofit, which hires formerly incarcerated people.

St. Paul residents can schedule free pick-up of mattresses, box springs and metal bed frames online.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated when the city would take over trash billing.