The Streets & Sanitation department is responsible for maintaining city streets and overseeing the collection of garbage and debris. 







Supervisor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (269) 983-6341

The Streets & Sanitation Division is responsible for:


  • Maintenance and repair of 13 miles of Major streets

  • Maintenance and repair of 31 miles of Local streets

  • Maintenance and repair of 7 miles of State Trunkline (Highways)

The maintenance and repair includes resurfacing, patching, surface crack repair, pothole repair, pavement marking, sweeping and snow and ice control and removal during the winter season.

Along the street Right-of-Way, the division is also responsible for the maintenance and repair of existing curb and gutter, guardrail, bridges and all traffic control, directional signage and markings throughout the City of St. Joseph.

Major Programs and Descriptions


The City uses its Pelican sweeper to remove accumulated debris from the City streets and curbs. The sweeper is operated as often as possible throughout the year from spring to fall.

(Image of Street sweeper)

Brush Collection

Brush and Branches up to 8 feet long and 6 inches in diameter are collected by the City’s Department of Public Works from the curbside during the First Full Week of each month May through November.

Brush Collection Dates for 2022

 May  2 – 6                        August 8 – 12                           November  7 - 11
 June 6 – 10                     September 6 – 9                      
 July 5 – 8                        October 3 – 7 

Brush pick-up is completed city wide.  There is not a defined route nor is it associated with a homeowner’s trash day.  Brush should be out on the curb or tree lawn for the first day of the collection week for the month. 
When utilizing this program please remember the following guidelines:
• This program is not intended for complete removal of trees by homeowners or contractors.  Residents who require this type of service need to contract with a private tree removal company.  Make it clear with your contractor that the job includes hauling away all debris from the project.
• Tree limbs and brush must be less than six (6) inches in diameter and no longer than eight feet in length.  Stack the pile so the larger ends are all facing the same way.
• Keep brush and limbs completely clear of City streets, sidewalks, mailboxes, street lights and sign poles, landscaping fences, overhead tree branches, and power lines.
• Place the pile at the street gutter or the tree lawn.
• No loose leaves, ornamental or lawn grass clippings, flowers, weeds, plant clippings, stumps, roots, sod, garden vegetation, limbs exceeding the size limits, building lumber, landscape timbers, railroad ties, rocks or bags of waste will be picked up.  If any of these items are mixed in the brush stacks, the entire pile will be left for the homeowner to dispose of.


The Streets & Sanitation crew routinely repairs potholes as they develop on the City streets, alleys and parking lots throughout the year. Residents are encouraged to contact the Department at 269-985-0306 to report potholes as they are discovered. Please be prepard to identify the street location and a cross street for reference. 


There is approximately 100 miles of sidewalk of various ages throughout the City of St. Joseph and like all infrastructure requires constant repair or replacement.

The City has developed a comprehensive bi-annual sidewalk replacement program that is administered by the City Engineer to address ongoing replacement of old and damaged sidewalk. The Department of Public Works & Service focuses on emergency repairs and general maintenance needs of the walks in the downtown and neighborhoods. These maintenance tasks can vary from grinding off a trip hazard lip to a total replacement of a sidewalk section if it has been damaged. Residents are requested to contact the Department at 269-985-0306 to report problem sections of sidewalks anywhere in the City of St. Joseph.

Spring and Fall Leaf Pick-up

The City of St. Joseph provides a curbside leaf removal program for its residents in the Spring and Fall.  See our city calendar for identified collection dates. 

Residents may rake leaves into the street gutter avoiding placement on or near the city drain tops.  Loose leaves can block the city sewer lines from working properly.  Please do not put bags of leaves, branches, twigs, grass clippings, rocks or other debris in the leaf pile. 
Residents on Niles Avenue, Main Street and Lakeshore Drive should bag leaves in bio-degradable craft paper yard waste bags rather than placing them in the street gutter.  These residents are asked to contact Public Works at 269-983-6341 to arrange for a bagged leaf pick-up during our collection dates only.
Other residents who bag leaves are required to purchase and place a Best Way sticker on the bag.  Bags should be set out on your regular garbage day for pick-up through the yard waste disposal program April – November annually.  Best Way stickers are available for by calling Best Way at 269-463-3232.
Our Public Works Department uses several large pieces of equipment to remove the leaves from the street.  Please do not place other items (branches, trash, ornamental or lawn grass, flowers, weeds, plant clippings, roots, rocks, sod and any other yard waste) in the piles.  These items can damage the equipment and cause delays for everyone using this service.  Piles containing these items will be left for clean-up by the property owner or tenant.
The Leaf Pick-up Program includes multiple passes around the City of St. Joseph to accommodate all of its residents.  Residents are encouraged to dispose of leaves utilizing a yard waste container during non-collection days.



The Department is responsible for keeping the streets free of snow and ice and open to traffic. When intersections become slippery Public Safety notifies the Department and specialized trucks are dispatched to begin salting the roadways. During major snow events the entire Department of Public Works & Service crew is called into action.

Snow removal is a priority based system that addresses State highways and major streets first, and then progresses to the local streets. Streets which are dead-end or cul-de-sacs are typically completed last. The priority system is based upon the amount of traffic serviced by the street and the need to keep vital facilities such as hospitals and schools open to the public. With the current crew and equipment, it typically takes up to 12 hours to have all of the City streets, alleys and parking lots free of snow and ice after a significant snow event.


The Streets & Sanitation Division is also tasked with keeping the public parking lots maintained and open to the general public. Typical maintenance for these areas include: surface repair, parking stall markings, mowing and trimming, landscape care, litter collection and signage upkeep.


The Streets & Sanitation Division is tasked with the responsibility for maintaining all permanent and temporary traffic control, informational and directional signs and signals in the City. At the Public Works & Service Facility the City maintains an extensive inventory of traffic signs, street name signs, posts and hardware to respond to signage repair requests because of age or vandalism. The sign shop is also responsible for all of the Special Event and marketing signs seen throughout the City and for signage at all of the City's buildings and grounds.

In addition to the signs, the Division is also responsible for the pavement markings on the streets, at intersections, the public parking lots and pedestrian crosswalks throughout the City. These markings are repainted on an annual basis to maintain their function and visibility.


Residential Rubbish Collection

The City contracts with Best Way Disposal for weekly residential rubbish pickup.  Best Way provides one 96 gallon two-wheeled cart for the weekly collection.  The rubbish cart may be placed at the curb after 5 P.M. the day preceding your scheduled collection day and must be removed by 10 A.M. on the day following the scheduled collection day.  Changes to the collection schedule as a result of a holiday are noted on the City Calendar and typically result in your collection day being one day behind the normal schedule.  For questions or concerns regarding weekly rubbish collection contact Best Way Disposal at 269-463-3232.

Residential Recycling

The City contracts with Best Way Disposal for Bi-Weekly recycling and residents are provided with one 96 gallon two-wheeled cart for collection and placement at the curb.  Recycling days are noted on the City Calendar.  Recycling carts may be placed at the curb after 5 P.M. the day preceding your scheduled collection day and must be removed by 10 A.M. on the day following the scheduled collection day.  See the Curbside Recycling Information for items accepted for recycling.  For questions or concerns regarding bi-weekly recycling contact Best Way Disposal at 269-463-3232.


Special Pick-ups – Residential Large Item Disposal

Special Pick-ups – Residential Large Item Disposal
The Special Pick-ups offered through the City of St. Joseph are intended for over-size or bulky household items that do not fit in your regular weekly rubbish collection.
Special Pick-up Guidelines:
• Special Pick-ups shall only be made on Thursdays (except holidays, where they shall be made the day prior to the holiday.  Requests must be called in to the Public Works Department at (269-983-6341) by NOON on the Wednesday immediately before.
• Special Pick-ups are limited to Residential property. 
• Commercial or Industrial property (including apartments or condominiums with five units or more in a single building) are not eligible for this program.
• Special Pick-ups shall be limited to a total of three cubic yards per pick-up. 
• A maximum of three (3) Special Pick-ups are allowed per parcel of property per calendar year, January 1 thru December 31.
• Special Pick-ups do not rollover or accumulate from year to year. 
• Homeowner’s home renovation/construction waste is not allowed.  Homeowners who hire a contracted worker for renovation/construction work must make it clear it is the responsibility of the contractor for the collection, removal and proper disposal of the generated waste.  
• Mattress or Box Springs Requirement – Each Mattress or Box Springs are required to be in a plastic bed bag and sealed for pick-up.  No Bag = No Pick-up
• Additional items Not allowed for pick-up include:
Hazardous Items – chemicals, solvents, oil-based paint, refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioners,
dehumidifiers, propane tanks, motor oil and anti-freeze
Wood – Lumber – Boards – Paneling – Posts – Cabinets
Wood Fence – Awnings – Yard Shed
Concrete – Bricks - Blocks
Cast-Iron Sinks or Tubs
Railroad Ties – Landscape Timbers
Shingles - Garage Doors
Broken Glass
Tires – Truck Toppers - Trailers
Boats – Campers 
• Special Pick-up items shall be placed on the side of the lot opposite your normal trash, if the weekly trash service is on the same day as the scheduled pick-up.  Items should be placed at the curb after 5:00 pm on the Wednesday preceding the Thursday picking.
• If all three (3) pick-ups are used for a parcel of property during the calendar year, and the resident has disposal needs, please contact a disposal service (such as Best Way 269-463-3232) for removal.

Yard Waste

The City does not collect yard waste. 
Yard waste is classified as:  grass clippings, ornamental grass, leaves, sod, roots, loose vegetation, weeds, plants, hedge trimmings, flowers, fruits and vegetables, etc. 
Residents may not place yard waste in the street for disposal. 
To contract for a 96 gallon Yard Waste cart, please contact Best Way at 269-463-3232.  Your cart may be filled and emptied weekly on your trash day during the yard waste season (April – November). 

Personal containers or yard waste paper bags require a Best Way Disposal Sticker to be placed on the container or bag and set out for disposal on your regular trash day. 
No Sticker = No Pick-up  The Best Way Disposal stickers are available for purchase at City Hall in the Clerks Office or by contacting Best Way at 269-463-3232.

Downtown Rubbish Collection

The City collects rubbish in the downtown business district on a daily basis. All downtown businesses are allotted up to four blue rubbish containers for their garbage and they must be placed in the alley for servicing by our team. Rubbish collection begins at 9:30 A.M. each day.

Downtown Recycling

The City provides five dumpsters in the downtown business district for the collection and recycling of cardboard (corrugated fiberboard) for the merchants. All cardboard must be broken down and placed flat in the dumpster. No cardboard may be placed outside of the dumpster at any time. If the dumpster is full, merchants are asked to utilize their blue rubbish containers until the dumpster is emptied.

The City also has a small recycling bin located at Broad and State Streets for the collection of cans, bottles and newspapers. Visitors to the downtown are encouraged to use the bin instead of placing the items in the trash cans.

Commercial Rubbish Collection

The City provides limited collection services to some commercial and industrial businesses in the City of St. Joseph. Current customers may lease a blue 95 gallon rubbish cart from the City or utilize their own containers. No loose or bagged rubbish will be collected.

Buildings & Grounds Rubbish Collection

The City provides rubbish collection for all of the City's parks, buildings and public grounds on a daily basis. In addition to this program, the City also removes rubbish for all special events held in the downtown and in the park system.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

City residents that have hazardous waste items in need of disposal are encouraged to utilize the Berrien County program. Additional information and items that are accepted may be found by contacting the County Solid Waste program at 983-7111 extension 8234 or on the web at County link.


Because of its workforce size and the infrastructure that it maintains the Streets & Sanitation Division is often tasked with assisting with the various special events held throughout the City. Some of the typical requests include: barricade placement, temporary parking sign installation, bleacher placement and trash and litter removal service. In addition to these specific services the Division often provides general labor and equipment assistance to various groups and other City Departments.


The City has a fleet of over 100 vehicles and various specialized pieces of equipment used in the performance of delivering services to the residents and visitors of the community. The City mechanic, as an employee of the Streets & Sanitation Division is responsible for keeping the fleet in good operating condition and performing preventative maintenance and repairs on the assets as required.



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