Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Something Smells about St. Louis County Trash Contracts; County Approves Merger of Trash Companies

The St. Louis County Council agreed on Tuesday to allow Allied Waste Management to take over three trash contracts from Veolia ES Solid Waste after hearing nearly an hour of sometimes raucous speeches against the idea of trash districts.

A dozen county residents — including Bill Corrigan, the Republican candidate for St. Louis County executive in the November election — took turns lambasting members of the council and his opponent in the race, County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.

The council voted 5-1 to approve the transfers in Districts 3, 4 and 7 in southwest and south St. Louis County, effective Friday. Councilman Greg Quinn, R-Ballwin, was absent.

Veolia had said it was pulling out of the area as part of a "business decision." Last week, the council held up on voting on the issue over concerns that such a move could lead to a monopoly for Allied, which now controls five of the eight trash districts.

The vote came after Garry Earls, the county's chief operating officer, told the council that failing to approve the transfer would result in a public health emergency. Earls noted that Allied would be bound by the terms of the Veolia contract, which ends Oct. 1, 2011. At that time, the service in the districts would again be put up for bids.

The lone vote against the transfers came from Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, who said he wanted to remain "consistent with my district's seemingly united voice on this."

Corrigan took issue with Dooley over a judge's ruling last week that the county should have given trash haulers two years notice before starting the trash program. Corrigan quoted from a 2008 letter from Mike Gibbons, who was the Missouri Senate's president pro tem at the time, to Dooley advising that the county wait two years.

The above is from the St. Louis Post Dispatch

Cathy Armbruster of South County addressed the Council members with comments and questions which included the following.

1. It is definitely an illegal program the way its been implemented.

2. Why is the county government afraid to put this to a vote of the people?

3. Citizens should have their their choice of a trash hauler.

4. The merger being considered here today is further evidence of the warning we made three years ago that this program will lead to a trash monopoly.

5. Is it because this is a political payoff?

Veolia and Allied put the County in a box forcing the decision.

A trash hauling company with connections to Dooley Campaign manager John Temporiti is holding St. Louis residents hostage with the threat of leaving their garbage on the streets unless it is allowed to expand its presence to 5 out of 8 trash hauling districts.

Allied Waste, which up until two years ago represented by John Temporiti, is seeking a transfer of three trash districts from Veolia ES. The transfer is being supported by the Dooley administration.

Here's the catch - before the transfer was approved, Allied Waste purchased all of Veolia ES's hauling equipment. Soon, Veolia won't be able to pick up any trash.

Thanks to that maneuver, there isn't time to competitively bid out the contract. If Temporiti's former client isn't awarded the business, trash collection in three districts will stop.

Dooley dutifully hopped on board with his support. So much for competitive bidding. This may very well result in lawsuit number five over how the trash districts have been awarded.


  1. Anonymous1:13 PM

    They should let them go out for bid again or let them go back to the original trash haulers. Since the county broke the law, the contract & transfer should be null & void!

  2. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Actually, earlier this year, Allied merged with Republic Waste Systems. They are one of the largest in the world now.

    But, seriously, what did any really expect to happen. The contract transfer was about the only option available under the circumstances.

    Next year, all of the waste districts go up for bid, and who is to say, that Allied/Republic/Veolias, won't win them all.

    Dooley and the County Council all made some major errors in this process, and now must face the music.

    Expect to see Dooley loose his election in november, with this being one of the major reasons why.

    Foolish man.