Thursday, May 15, 2008

County Officials Select Trash Haulers for Three Districts Raises Serious Questions

County officials selected three trash hauling companies as the low bidders to become the haulers in three trash collection districts in unincorporated St. Louis County. They are:

~ IESI, low bidder in District 1, covers an area north of Interstate 270 between Florissant and Highway 367. IESI said monthly charges for once-a-week collection of trash and recyclables and twice-a-year bulky pickups would go from $12.09 in the first year to $13.14 in the third serving 12,134 households.

~ Allied Waste LLC, low bidder in District 5, covers the Affton area. Allied's monthly charge for the same service would go from $12.29 in the first year to $13.29 in the third serving 12,106 households.

~ Veolia Environmental Services, low bidder in District 7, south of Sunset Hills. Veolia's monthly charge would range from $12.40 in the first year to $13.28 in the third serving 8,386 households.

County officials expect winning bidders to start work on Oct. 1. The officials will spend several weeks reviewing the bids before asking the County Council to authorize contracts with the haulers. Seven trash hauling companies submitted bids.

Veolia in February won a contract as the hauler in the 3rd District, in north central St. Louis County. Its monthly charge for basic service in the first year is $11.60. Veolia will start work July 1.

The rates announced have raised questions by some in South County as to why and how Veolia can charge a lower rate to households in North County while charging a higher rate in South County. "Just doesn't make sense," said Mike Roberts, a south county resident. "Why can't Veolia charge the same in south county? The county is supporting Veolia while they screw us with a higher charge." Veolia will charge $11.60 in North County and $12.09 in South County.

"Also right now IESI is charging south county residents around $22 per month, but they're offering to pick up trash in North County for $12.09. IESI is also screwing south county residents. We're getting dumped on all around," according to Roberts.

Bob Spradling, who lives in District 5, said he has never cared who hauled his trash, only that he got a better deal."The last bill I got from Waste Management (of St. Louis, his current hauler) was for $79.20 a quarter," said Spradling. Under its bid, the price of basic service from Allied in the first year would be $33.18 a quarter, including the 10 percent discount for the elderly.

Dorothy Kohne, a resident of District 7, said, "I'm glad to be saving money, but I would rather stick with American Eagle," her trash collector. She said, "The company gave me a good deal and I think I should be able to stick with them if I want to." Unless Ms. Kohne is in a subdivision that opted out of the program, she'll be forced to change.


  1. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Why do people have such a hard time understanding that the rates may vary a bit from district to district? First, it is a competitive bidding process and not all haulers may bid in all districts, so it is natural that the bids submitted by haulers could vary a bit from district to district. More importantly though, the size of the districts vary, so the larger districts are likely to see lower bids submitted because the hauler may be willing to accept a lower rate for a larger number of customers. It's simple economic factors at play. District 1 will serve 12,134 households, and IESI won with a bid of $12.09. District 7 will serve only 8,386 households, so it is not surprising that the winning bid from Veolia was a little higher at $12.40. Besides, the variance between these two bids is a mere 31 cents a month, an insignificant amount. The bottom line is that the trash district bids are yielding monthly trash rates that are 30-50% lower than what people are currently being charged by various haulers for once a week pick-up plus recycling.

  2. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Florissant to explore having a single citywide trash hauler
    By Phil Sutin
    Saturday, May. 17 2008

    FLORISSANT — The city is exploring having a single hauler collect trash and
    recyclables. But that would be done only if a sizable majority of residents
    support the idea, Mayor Robert Lowery said Friday.

    Florissant is one of seven municipalities in the county where households
    arrange for their own trash collection.

    In a controversial move, St. Louis County is converting the unincorporated area
    from household-arranged collections to trash collection districts with a single
    hauler, except in subdivisions that opted out of the districts earlier this

    Lowery said he will involve the public heavily before the city decides the
    issue. The approach, he said, will be "entirely different" than the county's,
    he said.

    Florissant shortly will ask haulers what they would charge, the mayor said. "I
    want to save money for the residents," he said.

    In a trash collection district just east of Florissant, the trash hauler IESI
    on Wednesday submitted the apparent low bid of $12.09 a month for once-a-week
    collection of trash and recyclables and twice-a-year bulky waste pickup,
    starting Oct. 1.

    Current hauler prices in Florissant vary. For example, the monthly charge of
    Meridian Waste Services is $13.75 for once-a-week trash collection and $5 for
    once-a-week recycling pickup. | 314-863-2812

  3. It's understandable that rates will vary from one hauler to another, but for them to vary from one district to another with the same hauler just doesn't make much sense, no matter how small the difference.

    We keep hearing about trash rates being reduced, there are indeed some people paying more. We need to hear from them.

    There are still some gray areas like paying for trash services while a person is not living at the residence (wintering in Fla); people living next door and across the street in or not in a subdivision or on different districts, etc.

  4. Anonymous2:19 PM

    It all sounds good, it all sounds sensible, and it all looks attractive...........but have you noticed, half of the bids have been opened and let. 2 have been offered to a French owned, large national company, the other 2 have been awarded to large national companies, one owned in Canada, the other and American Company. None of the bids went to any local private companies. You can bet the next 4 districts bid will also wind up in the hands of the large national (and foreign owned) companies as well. This will eliminate all the local businesses permanately, and when the second round of bidding comes out, there will only be about 3 available national companies to bid. Guess what, prices will increase substanstially.
    Also, keep in mind, when current landfill volumes start to diminish and slow down at the landfill, the landfill operators will certainly increase their rates for disposal to regain some of there profits. Little to no competition in the disposal markets, and no rate restrictions either.
    Within 5 years, your waste/recycle rates will be looking like your cable TV rates, then, who you gonna call?

  5. Anonymous7:19 PM

    Anyone who shops at Wal-Mart has no room to complain about local businesses losing out.

    Fred Weber will be the only landfill in st. louis county soon- I doubt rates will raise for lack of business.