Thursday, March 05, 2009

EUREKA: Mayor defends comprehensive trash contract; Some residents complain about fee

Reported by the Suburban Journals

Eureka officials say residents are confused when it comes to comparing the cost of their trash pick-up to that of other cities. The city’s recent increase in its monthly fee to residents for trash, recyclables, yard waste and bulky items, as well as an extension of the solid waste contract of hauler IESI without bids, has caused some homeowners to complain the fee is too high.

However, Mayor Kevin Coffey insisted residents are getting more service than those in some other cities for a good value. “A true comparison of costs can only be made if all classes of solid waste are included,” Coffey said. “Eureka’s contract with IESI includes unlimited household trash, recyclables, yard waste, bulky items and white goods for $20.03 per month (as of January).”That’s up from the previous cost of $14.95 per month.

In many other communities, residents pay a base rate for trash and recycling and additional fees for optional yard waste pick-up. For example, Webster Groves residents pay $14.20 per month for trash and recycling and $13.75 for optional yard waste pick-up. In Wildwood, those costs are $15 and $9.35 respectively.

In some places, bulky items and white goods (such as old appliances) are included. In others there is an additional one-time fee or restrictions on the number of items collected.If residents of those cities choose to pay for the full service every month, their cost would be higher than Eureka’s. However, unlike some other communities, Eureka does not give its residents a choice.

Coffey said that based on discussions the city had with IESI and two previous haulers, it was decided it would be in the city’s and residents’ best interest to negotiate a contract extension to keep the same “very attractive” contract terms residents have had for years rather than seeking bids.

“I am not aware of any other municipal contract that allows an unlimited amount of household trash, recyclables, yard waste, bulky items and white goods to be disposed of as is the case with our contract,” the mayor said. He said other cities have similarly negotiated contract extensions. “On the basis of a true ‘apples to apples’ comparison, our trash service is an excellent value, especially for the comprehensive level of service provided,” Coffey said.

Some residents disagree, saying they don’t regularly use some services the fee covers.“For instance, I have never used the bulky pick-up and, as for yard waste, we pay $95 a month to a lawn-care provider to cut our grass and maintain the yard, so we never put out yard waste,” said Ruth Bubla, a resident of the Townes of Hilltop subdivision. “So I’m paying more for effectively only two services: the trash and recycling.”


  1. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Yard waste & bulky item pickup should be optional. If the customer wants it then they should pay for it. NOT every one should have to pay for services they don't use!

    In these hard times when people are struggling, they don't need anymore added expenses, especially from the(city)government!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous8:29 AM

    I believe Eureka has deprived the people living in Eureka to vote on trash services. They are the payers. There should be a bid in process including what services they provide with their costs. I believe Eureka pays to much for trash service. I live in St Charles area, we get 2 days of trash pick up, 1 day yard waste, and 1 day recycle for 1 week for the cost of $17.00 per month, thats including the trash can.
    I believe that Eureka should not pick out the trash service for residents any more. The residents should have a choice to pick from since they are the ones paying TAXES.
    Eureka residents - bend over because your really getting it the rear!! Good luck and best wishes.