Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Court Rules Against St. Louis County on Trash Program

The Court of Appeals ruled that the statue requiring a two year notice applies to St. Louis County. As a result, the County is in violation of the State Law regarding the controversial trash program introduced this year. The County charter requires that the County administration give a 2-year notice before establishing trash districts.

The program has been the target of many county residents. More than 310 subdivisions and tens of thousands of residents have opposed the program. While virtually all residents want lower costs, less truck traffic and recognize the value of recycling, implimentation of the program has been plauged with problems. The program has been a moving target since the very beginning.

The legislation was first approved by the County Council in December 2006. As recent as last week, county council members were taking pot shots at each other. County Executive, Charlie Dooley, berated county businesses executives who were trying to protect their own companies from financial disaster.

It's estimated that more than $10.2 million has been spent by the County, trash haulers, attorney's, subdivision trustees and others regarding this program. Thousands of county citizens attended countless meetings to discuss the pros and cons of the program. The question has never been "cost", but freedom of choice to choose a desired trash hauler.



  1. Anonymous8:56 PM

    THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Here's hoping the County Council has learned a very valuable lesson in all of this (but somehow I doubt it). When this does come up again, I do hope that it will be put to a vote of the people, not just the County Council, which is what should have been done in the first place.
    Again, THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous7:20 AM

    This issue isn't over. And I predict that we will not unwind the clock. The damage has been done.

    The big question is, how much is it going to COST us taxpayers. The County will be forced to reach a settlement with the haulers that were damaged and pay damages for their loss of business. That will run into the multiple millions of dollars.

    But the Districts and the contract agreements will stand and will be carried out as set up. If the county trys to cancel the awarded contracts and unwind things, the companies that were awarded the contracts will sue for their damages. So, settlement with the loosing companie is the lesser of two evils.

    No one wins here. The existing companies lost their business, the people lost thier right to choose, the taxpayers will be paying for everything, the low prices that were awarded will be ramped up because of the settlement.

    But, not to worry, no one in the County will loose their jobs....not Dooley, not Earls, not Redington, no one.............just everyone else looses.

    Good work County Government.

  3. Anonymous7:26 AM

    When you start adding up what this program cost the taxpayers, it is really scarey.

    In the beginning, the County was taking our tax dollares through fees at the landfills, they were hidden taxes, but over the years, it surpassed nearly $10 million over the years.

    Then, they purchased recycle carts and handed them out like candy, this program cost over $1.5 million, with no control over the carts.

    Then they bid the Districts and caused mass confusion costing well over $. 5 half a million,

    Now add in the county government cost of defending itself in court over this bad decission.

    Then, there will be a settlement with the loosing companies which could easily gover well over $5 million or more............

    All of this over a simple system of competitive trash collection that wasn't broke, and was working.

    County government at it's best.

    Good work guys and gals. You should be proud of yourself. It's no wonder the County is having money problems..............ooppps, it us that are having the money problems, we pay for it.....

  4. Anonymous7:28 AM

    It's time to shake the County Government blanket and elect new leadership. This is ridiculous.

    Their track record sucks...........

  5. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Let's face it.......
    St. Louis County, is NOT a good stewart of our Tax Money.

    Dooley said he was doing this to help and protect county residents.

    The only thing we need protection from is Dooley and his follow behind knuckleheads.

  6. Anonymous12:06 PM

    The trash program itself was not a bad idea, and similar programs are being implemented all over the country- it really appears to be unavoidable. I realize some people fret over their right to choose, but trash service is essentially a utility and they do not have a choice over any of their other utilities- why? Because it’s more cost effective.
    The follow through of the County does suck.
    They should have been upfront about this and done this through a municipal tax type of program- if it went up for vote it would have passed. Despite what people like to think most people are thankful for this program they realize the obvious benefits and are not afraid to give up their "right to choose" over something that is so trivial.
    It’s a good idea and in the end will be implemented but a lot of headaches and possibly some costs could have been saved if they would have just done this through a county taxed program.
    One comforting thought is that the tax money that may be awarded to some of these companies as a result of various lawsuits will all be recovered by the people who use these services in less than a year’s time through the financial savings it offers to the customer. I full heartedly agree that this was done sloppily, and that the county government needs to be more upfront and accountable- but the rest of the complaints really have no validity.

  7. Anonymous11:19 AM

    I am having an issue with our assigned trash hauler now! Instead of me being able to choose another hauler, I have to call VEOLIA every week to report missed trash pickup. He refuses to pick up both of my cans. This is way more headache than necessary. VEOLIA doesn't care, they know I can't choose another hauler. I am stuck with crapy service and a higher trash bill.

    What can be done here people?? If we organize ourselves we may be able to get something done.

  8. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Anonymous said: "When this does come up again, I do hope that it will be put to a vote of the people, not just the County Council, which is what should have been done in the first place."

    People, please be remnded that it is the RIGHT of we citizens, per the STL CO Charter, to vote on trash discticting. It's not a priviledge to be given or taken from us at will by King Charles and the Duke of Earls. County Government is NOT a monarchy, even though those in power seem to think that it is. We get our rights from the county charter, not from the "King" and the "Duke"... Their "power" has gone to their heads, and has taken over what little brains they may have had in the first place.

    The "disenfranchised" haulers in this scenario will deserve every penny they stand to be awarded, and the only person to blame for the debacle to the taxpayers is CHARLIE DOOLEY. He got us all into this mess, now he belongs in the trash heap, where he tried to send all of us.

    Those of you who think there will be a long-term cost savings to consumers from trash districting obviously haven't checked around in other cities/states where trash districting has occurred. When the first round of contracts expire, and all competition is bankrupted and long gone, prices will triple and quadruple. Don't kid youselves. And don't even get me started on the lack of customer service with the "assigned" hauler.

    And trash is NOT a utility. Far from it. You're deluding youself if you think otherwise. Not everthing that we use is a utility... Next you'll be saying that gas stations are utilities...

    Back to the main point: The solution to this mess, and to all the other messes created by the present STL CO administration is to "Dump" Dooley.