Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Carts Have Arrived: Now What to Do With Them

People from Florrisant to Oakville are angry that recycling carts recently popped up at their curbs will add an extra pop to their trash bills.A number of them said they won't use them, unless they need to store mulch or plant flowers.

Matt Jerden of Affton said the recycling cart just showed up weeks ago and he had no idea why. So he called the St. Louis County Department of Health and asked about it.

"They give no heads up about what they were doing," Jerden said. "They showed up at my house one day and there were new trash cans lining the street. I looked through the pamphlet inside the cart and called the (health department) number on it.

The pamphlet outlined how trash providers were going to start a recycling curb-side service, and when Jerden asked how the service being paid for, he was told "there was a good chance I would have to pay for it."

So Jerden called Waste Management, his trash hauler, and was told the curb-side recycling would cost $6.50 per month, on top of his $35 per quarter fee for trash pick up. Then he called a few more haulers and found out the same thing - customers have to pay for the recycling service.

"I'm not against recycling but there are other ways to go about recycling that are free," Jerden said. "There are drop-off points at schools and churches. I'll probably use my cart for mulch or landscaping or something."

The county bought 195,000 64-gallon and 35-gallon recycling carts for about $4.4 million, which was paid for by tipping fees charged to waste haulers for dumping at area landfills. The cost includes the carts, delivery, replacement if residents wanted a different size cart, and pick up of the carts if residents don't want them.

This raises an interesting questions as there are 104,000 homes in the unincorporated area scheduled to receive the carts. Why buy 195,000?

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  1. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Municipalities such as Florissant, nor did any other incorporated city, town or village, receive Recycle carts. Only, unicorporated St. Louis County received them. Although, all residents, in all municipal cities, towns and villages paid for them, they did not receive them. The municipal residents helped pay for the unincorporated residents to receive a free cart.

    But, regardless, you will be paying for the service, that is for sure.

  2. Anonymous8:10 PM

    Apparently large numbers of residents of St. Louis County don't pay attention to their mail because the county mailed a card indicating that these recycling containers were going to be delivered.

    Additionally, until your district is bid on and your rates (hopefully) go down your current trash hauler is required to provide recycling and yes, they will charge you for it. The trash haulers are taking advantage of the situation by doing so which doesn't seem to be earning them any friends.

  3. Anonymous1:38 PM

    My suggestion is call St. Louis County DOH & tell them to come & get it! I hope the majority of people in St. Louis County do call so that most of them go back to County for them to store!