Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Chapter in The Trash Boondoggle in St. Louis County

Last week, County Executive Charlie A. Dooley's administration asked the County Council to approve the transfer of contracts from Veolia ES Solid Waste Management LLC to Allied Services LLC for trash services in southwest and south St. Louis County. These areas include Affton, Lemay and Mehlville.

Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, objected to the deal. He said that if Veolia gives up the contracts, the county should seek bids from other companies rather than hand the contracts over to Allied.

"With another three districts in addition to the two it already controls, Allied will be well on its way to establishing a trash hauling monopoly in the county," Stenger said before Tuesday's meeting. "What we ought to be doing is putting these contracts out to bid right now and giving small businesses a shot at them."

It’s pretty evident the County did not have a contingency plan should one of the haulers fail. The County is now faced with an emergency situation and is faced with "reacting" rather than "acting."

Councilman Greg Quinn, R-Chesterfield, said he agreed with Stenger.

"Allied is moving toward a monopoly," Quinn said. "If we bid these districts out, there's a very good chance that residents will save money."

Council Chairwoman Barbara Fraser, D-University City, ordered that the proposal be put on hold so council members could examine the issue before voting.

Veolia also wants to sell its other assets in the St. Louis area to Allied, including those in Arnold, Bel-Ridge, Bridgeton, Clayton, Crestwood, Frontenac, Hazelwood, Warson Woods and Winchester.

Garry Earls, the county's chief operating officer, said that the county requested the contract transfers out of necessity. He said Veolia had already sold its equipment to Allied and that, as of Oct. 1, Veolia would not have the means to collect trash in this area.

"If the council members reject this proposal, I'm presuming they're ready to go out and pick up the trash," Earls said.

The finger pointing is already going on. County management appeals to the Council. The Council puts the issue on “hold” to study the situation. Garry Earls of the County passes the buck to the County Council. Citizens are grumbling. Law suits are pending. Another interesting thing about this is that Dooley’s former staff member and current campaign manager, John Temporiti, was the attorney for Allied Waste, however, Temporiti says he nor his company have represented Allied for two years.

The county said it established the 8 trash districts in response to complaints from residents in unincorporated areas about multiple hauling companies serving the same neighborhoods. Yet today, over 300 subdivisions throughout St. Louis County chose not to participate in the County’s trash program.

But the plan has generated controversy from the start. It’s loaded with too many flaws. First, there should be a law requiring all residents to have a trash service but the law should not require citizens to use a particular service. The county should leave it up to individual subdivisions or areas to select their hauler of their own choosing. This gives residents local control and freedom of choice to make any desired changes. For residents not in a specified subdivision, the County can assign a trash hauler based on haulers being used in that area.

A resident of a south county subdivision commented their subdivision trustees selected their hauler based on resident’s input, but across the road in another subdivision, the County assigned a different hauler . . . and just down the road, homes not in a subdivision are being serviced by a third hauler.

Enforcement of the regulation has come under fire as many residents are “doing their own thing” in sharing services and transporting their trash to their place of business.

Estimates of the dollars involved are way over $11 Million and growing.

Lot more information on this subject and situation is available at the St. Louis Post Dispatch site at:

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Charley Dooley, allowed Temporiti and Earls to contrive this mess, and then they sold it to the county council. Big mistake, big costly mistake, and it will cost them all their positions and jobs.

    The irony here, they all trashed their own destiny