Wednesday, October 01, 2008

County Trash Program Unenforceable; Trash Districts Open to All

Brian Barcom of American Eagle Waste Co. says his company intends to ignore St. Louis County’s new trash program's rules and offer his services to anyone who wants them. The County previously shut out his company along with more than a dozen others from collecting trash in designated areas in the County.

County Counselor, Patricia Redington, conceded there is nothing the county can do to stop American Eagle Waste Co. and other haulers — or any residents who wants to use other companies to haul their trash.

The county's program was established after residents in unincorporated areas complained about multiple hauling companies serving the same neighborhoods. Through bidding, the county selected a single hauler for each of eight districts except in subdivisions that opted out of the program.

Barcom's comments were precipitated by his appearance earlier Tuesday at the Missouri Court of Appeals in St. Louis. He and two other waste haulers who lost out in the bidding process, Meridian Waste Services and Waste Management of Missouri, alleged the county failed to give haulers two years' notice of the new program as required by law.

Redington told the court that the rules do not prevent any of the haulers from going back and getting our customers, Barcom said. "And she said no one could be prosecuted." Barcom said he would begin contacting former clients to offer to haul for them again.

From the inception of the plan, about 18 months ago, county administrators had asserted that its success depended on the full participation of all residents who had not opted out. Unfortunately over 310 subdivisions saw right through the program and chose to opt out. As one representative said, “It’s like passing a law but permitting subdivisions not to comply, if they just ask. It’s just plain dumb.”

After the meeting, Redington defended the program as offering "the best price and best service." She admitted, however, that the program had no provision for enforcement. This is amazing that the county approved a major piece of legislation with no provision for enforcement. Who’s responsible for this? Somebody is. Things like this just don’t happen out of clear air. Now the finger pointing begins.“

We never said we were going to prosecute anyone who didn't participate," she said. Unfortunately, officials said on numerous occasions at county sponsored meetings that the county was prepared to enforce the regulation with notices, liens, judgments, prosecution and even jail.

The county admits their program has no teeth. People can ignore it and hire anyone they want, and there's nothing the county can do about it. In the meantime, more than $1 million dollars of county resident’s money has gone into this program and it’s still growing.

Overhead expenses include county employee salaries, meetings (too many to count), travel (mileage, meals), overtime pay, trash bins ($400,000+), county council meetings, subdivision trustee meetings (in the thousands), supplies, postage, and more plus expenses incurred by the various trash companies.


  1. Anonymous11:40 PM

    Today, October 1, 2008, a call was made to the County telephone number given on the website
    615-4285 (615-HAUL) where you can get answers to your questions about the trash program. The question asked was, "Is it true that I can chose a trash hauler even if I am in an assigned trash district ?" The first answer was that this is still a legal question. When further questioned, the employee said, "Yes, you can pick another trash hauler, but your will also have to pay the trash hauler that was selected by St. Louis County". When asked what law or ordinanced allows his, the answer was that this is what we were instructed to tell you. How is this fair Mr. Dooley? Or even legal?

  2. Anonymous11:54 PM

    Bill Rogers, thank you for all of your insight and diligent work on this blogsite. You are and have been instramental in keeping the subdivision residents informed about all of the up to date information concerning the trash districts . It now appears that those subdivisions who are in unincorporated areas and who have opted out of the county plan, can now get out of the agreeement which the subdivision signed with a hauler. I.E. Our subdivision signed with a hauler and now that this new info came out. there are many residents who would like to do their own Recycle at no cost to them. So they will just pay the trash fee to the company and not pat the recycle fee. That's the way I interpret the new rules.
    Please advise if this is incorrect.
    Doug Smith
    Concordia Village Subdivsion

  3. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Is St. Louis County responsible for trees lineing the streets in the county, are there responsibliy?

  4. Anonymous12:15 PM

    I recently moved to St Ann, MO. I called the City's Trash hauler, Allied Waste, to initiate my service. After the first month, I became increasingly displeased with the service. Twice they failed to pick-up my yard waste. I called their customer service and spoke with an agent who was quite rude to me. I then requested to speak with a supervisor and was told that she was not in office. I was FORCED to leave a message with the very same agent who was rude to me. I reluctantly did anyway. I immediately called back and got a road supervisor. He was quite professional and had the driver returned the next day to get the yard waste.

    The second time they missed I was the last straw. I called that very month and asked to have my service discontinued as I was not satisfied with it. I was told that it would be done. I had sent them a check that month, which overpaid for the period I was served.

    One week following my call, I got a NOTICE TO DISCONTINUE SERVICE in the mail. The very next month I got a bill from them. It stated a charge for the next three months less the amount I overpaid the month before. I immediately call the customer service department and the agent who answered then told me that I CANNOT DISCONTINUE my service. I told her I no longer wish to use their services as I am displeased with it. She then went on to tell me that I will be billed even if I NEVER use the service or put out trash to be picked up. A few days following that I received a NOTICE TO INTERRUPT SERVICE with a $35 interruption fee plus the three months service fee. I again called to speak with a supervisor and was given the same story that she was not in office. I then hung up and called the road supervisor on his cellular phone as he had given it to me in the event. He then gave me the office number and extension of the CUSTOMER SERVICE supervisor. Since then, a month ago, I have called two or three times every week and left a message relating to my case and requested that she contacted me. NO SUCH LUCK. I can only assume that she is blatantly ignoring my messages and refuse to call or speak with me, a paying customer.

    Following my first phone call to this customer service supervisor, I immediately received a NOTICE OF INTENT informing me that they are giving me 10 DAYS to pay this $71 or face them in court. They have acknowledged my request to discontinue service, and have now stopped the service-which I had wanted all along. I can now hire a private hauler.

    St Ann City Hall is unable to supply me with a copy of the ordinance which states that it is compulsory to have trash service at my residence. I am willing to battle these people in court. Anyone have any suggestion? Please email me at RICHIEG_146@HOTMAIL.COM. Thank you.