Wednesday, January 30, 2008

American Politics Research Paper on the Trash Districting situation in St. Louis County

We received a research document called "American Politics Research Paper on the Trash Districting Situation in St. Louis County" from Lauren E. Chellis, MIDN USN (United States Naval Academy). The document makes for some very interesting reading. You can download a .pdf copy of the document at:


The freedom to contract is simply the voluntary agreement of two or more parties, a buyer and a seller, coming together when both perceive a benefit. Contract law, which we inherited from English common law has been the cornerstone of American prosperity.

Americans have built their wealth by engaging in trillions of private transactions for the mutual benefit of all parties, as well as society at large. It is human nature to form contracts.

One area where pure free-market ideology has long reigned has been trash pick-up in unincorporated St. Louis County. Other than anti-dumping laws, which basically require you to have it, county government has not been involved in it at all. Homeowners contracted with a hauler and the entire thing was handled privately. However, now county government intends to establish a “trash districting” program with one hauler per district, chosen by the county, which will eliminate this free market and the residents’ right to contract.

The underlying question is, “Why is the local County government impeding citizens' rights to the Constitutional freedom to contract by implementing a mandated, socialized, "waste management program"?

The County government attempts to provide answers to this question with reasons why the county needs trash districting with one hauler. They have ignored the element of Constitutionality; instead, County Executive Charlie Dooley leads the proposal claiming he has over fifty-one percent of St. Louis County residents in favor of the waste management program. However, he will not disclose this survey nor reveal who was surveyed.

In July 2007, Dooley and the rest of his structured, organized Solid Waste Task Force Team issued a Trash Districts Development Report for the Citizens of St. Louis County. This document followed an ordinance passed in December 2006 which established a new minimum standard for residential trash collection in the county of at least once per week including recycling and two bulky pick-ups, and it also established the authority to create operating trash service districts and non timetabled contracts to serve unincorporated St. Louis County (p. 2). In article 607.1300, the Report and the Solid Waste Management Code granted the County Executive authority to determine the trash hauler and the districts.

~ Continued . . .

Note: For a copy of the complete report, you may download this from:

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