Wednesday, February 13, 2008

311 Subdivisions Opt Out of County's Trash District Program

A total of 28,065 households from 311 subdivisions — or 26.92 percent of total households in unincorporated areas — petitioned the county to opt out of trash districts, according to county officials.

Only subdivisions carrying an active form of governance and employing the services of a trash hauler that meets the county's newly enacted minimum waste-collection standards were permitted to opt out of the districts. Some residents who do not live in subdivisions are reported considering legal action for discrimination.

The county already had planned to establish one of eight trash districts in July as a "pilot district" in the 2nd County Council District represented by Chair Kathleen Burkett, D-Overland. She has been a proponent of trash districts.

The county says they will solicit bids for that district in March and have not committed to a date to begin the bidding process for the seven other trash districts. Four of these are located in south county. County officials intend to establish eight trash districts in unincorporated areas in which the County Council would award one bid to a trash hauler per district.

Reasons given by county officials for forming the trash districts include reducing truck traffic in residential areas and setting up a uniform system of standards and pricing to encourage more recycling.

A large number of south county residents have opposed establishment of trash districts because of the monopoly they might create by allowing only one waste hauler per district and because of concerns that the new minimum standards would increase the cost of trash collection.

Residents and waste haulers also have criticized the move because county officials have stated that districts would likely push some small haulers out of business due to a lack of competition in unincorporated areas.

Of those unincorporated areas, the following number in each proposed trash district have petitioned the county to opt out:

>> 1st Trash District, north county
29 subdivisions — 4,289 households — 25.79 percent of the 16,632 households

>> 2nd Trash District, northeast county
Five subdivisions —1,400 households — 2.10 percent of the 11,568 households

>> 3rd Trash District, central county
Nine subdivisions — 1,429 households — .02 percent of the 10,196 households

>> 4th Trash District, southwest county
46 subdivisions — 4,729 households — 33.85 percent of the 13,970 households

>> 5th Trash District, south county
34 subdivisions — 3,183 households — 20.76 percent of the 15,330 households

>> 6th Trash District, south county
23 subdivisions — 2,058 households — 18.04 percent of the 11,406 households

>> 7th Trash District, south county
105 subdivisions — 5,962 households — 41.54 percent of the 14,352 households

>> 8th Trash District, south county
60 subdivisions — 5,015 households — 46.5 percent of the 10,786 households

While those subdivisions already have chosen to opt out, unincorporated households not included in subdivisions are not being given the chance to do so.

Attorney Matt O'Grady is representing homeowners not part of subdivisions in south county to try to allow them to opt out and not be treated like what he terms as "second-class citizens."


  1. Anonymous11:16 AM

    Todays Post Dispatch 2/14/08

    St.Louis County Council agreed to hold a special committee meeting next month to allow the general public to comment on John Campizi's bill to revoke county authority to establish trash districts.

    The pressure is beginning to take hold. Don't stop now, continue to contact your County Council members to express your right to choose and stop the County from controlling your choice.

  2. Anonymous4:48 PM

    County Reasoning:
    Reasons given by county officials for forming the trash districts include reducing truck traffic in residential areas and setting up a uniform system of standards and pricing to encourage more recycling.

    Let's apply some logic to this:
    -with the county forcing mandatory recycling, there will be twice as many trucks collecting trash and recycling.
    -with all the OPT out subdivisions scattered through out a district, each district could use a different hauler, thus creating more trucks and traffic.
    -with mandatory recycling, and additional equipment and manpower, prices will most certainly go up and not down.
    -if less competition is the result, pricing will increase, and less to no choice will be the result.
    -it costs just as much in labor and fuel and equipment, to collect a pound of Recycle as it does trash.
    -How is the county every going to track and monitor this mess they have established, not to mention, who is responsible for lost, stolen, broken Recycle Carts??????

    This is truly and operational and administrative nightmare. Don't let it happen. Contact your County Council Person today and tell them, Stay Out of My Trash.