Friday, September 24, 2010

St. Louis County Loses Round in Legal Battle Over Trash Hauling; May Cost County Millions

By PAUL HAMPEL Post-Dispatch

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 3:23 pm

St. Louis County may have to pay millions of dollars in damages as a result of a judge's ruling in a lawsuit brought by small waste haulers who failed to win contracts when the county set up trash districts in 2008.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Barbara W. Wallace ruled Thursday that the county violated state law when it failed to give the plaintiffs in the case -- American Eagle Waste Industries, Meridian Waste Services and Waste Management of Missouri -- two years notice before setting up the trash districts.

The trash issue has generated controversy since it was proposed more than two years ago.

The county asserted that it established the districts in response to complaints from residents about multiple trash trucks rumbling through the same neighborhoods.

Through bidding, the county selected a single hauler for each of eight districts, except in subdivisions that opted out of the program.

The county won the first round of the case, in May of 2008, when St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Steven H. Goldman dismissed the suit filed by the three waste haulers.

But in October of that year, a Missouri Appeals Court reversed Goldman and ordered the case remanded to the circuit court. The appeals court ruled that the county must obey a state law requiring two years' notice before establishing the new trash districting program.

A provision of the state law in question calls for compensating businesses that are not given two years' notice, stating that "the amount paid by the city shall be at least equal to the amount the private entity or entities would have received for providing such services during that period."

Wallace scheduled a hearing for Oct. 1 to rule on damages. One of the plaintiffs, Waste Management, had estimated in 2008 that they stood to lose $65 million over two years, including lost revenue, equipment and property.
Veolia wants the St. Louis County Council to let the Allied trash hauling company take over its contracts in three districts.

Cathy Armbruster, one of the leading opponents of the districts, said no company should get the contracts. She hopes many residents would go to Tuesday's county council meeting (9/28) to persuade the council to see the issue her way.

"We want citizens to have the right to chose their own trash hauler," she said.


  1. Tom Lynch11:25 AM

    Now it's time to see to it that Don Dooley and his Consigleri Pat Reddington have to get out and find some jobs they can handle. Can you say, Do you want fries with that?

  2. Anonymous1:07 AM

    If you ask me, it's time there was a class action lawsuit against Dooley, Earls, Redington and Temporiti for the tons of money they have wasted over lawsuits against them over the years. This is just one, a big one, to be sure, but it's only one of MANY. Absolutely incredible corruption is STL County Govt.

  3. Anonymous2:15 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS to the Trash Haulers!!!!!
    And, Thank You Judge Wallace....

    Go figure County would appeal - they just keep on spending the taxpayers money. Why not take a vote of the people to see if they want it to continue? Hah - fat chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The only way these idiots will ever learn (if that's possible) is when they get voted OUT!

    The money they will have to pay out should come from their pockets, not the taxpayers. After all they are the ones that broke the law.....