Thursday, October 09, 2008

Customers say trash pickup plan works smoothly, so far

District 3 Residents Say They’re Pleased With Trash Program. District 3 was the first of the county's eight trash districts, which largely serve the unincorporated area, that began operating on July 1. The seven other districts began service Sept. 29.

Judging from the reaction of West Overland residents, other county residents may like the change. After all, who wouldn’t if the rates are lower and there are less trucks. Unfortunately there are other wrinkles for some county residents.

The new code requires weekly recycling collection to be a part of basic trash service. Yes, we should all recycle, but unfortunately, not all county residents want to. This ends up becoming a “forced” recycling program and results in a price increase for those individuals.

County officials hope recycling will lessen the amount of trash placed in landfills, limit the number of trash trucks on local streets and lower monthly rates. County officials have been trying to convince residents that recycling is going to lower month rates but they cannot explain how that happens.

Despite the initial acceptance by some residents, there may be clouds on the horizon.

Charles Barcom, who heads Meridian Waste Services, said that he plans to ignore the county's program and sign up his old customers. Meridian was one of several hauling firms that lost out in the bidding process.

Barcom said St. Louis County Counselor Patricia Redington said in a Missouri Court of Appeals hearing that the county cannot stop other haulers from signing up customers, short of adopting a new ordinance.

Meridian and other firms are appealing the dismissal of a suit that alleged that haulers should have been given a two-year notice of the new county program. "I intend to go back and re-sign up some of the customers," Barcom said.

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