Sunday, February 20, 2011

STL County Wants to Lengthen New Trash Contracts Even While the Current Contracts are in the Courts

According to an article in today's Post Dispatch (2/20/11), St. Louis County officials want to lengthen to five years from three the contracts for haulers in trash collection districts in the unincorporated area.

Even while there are serious court cases pending regarding the trash program, the county is getting ready for a second round of bidding for haulers that serve districts. The current three-year contracts in the eight districts expire Sept. 30. Officials plan to complete this spring specifications for the bidding and seek bids next summer for new contracts. The outcome of these suits could have a major and devasting impact on the County

County Executive Charlie Dooley asked the County Council to extend the length of contracts. The districts serve 80,366 households, said Sheryl Hodges, director of highways and traffic and public works. Approximately a fourth of county residents and subdivisions opted out of the maligned program when it was introduced two years ago.

Interviews with haulers indicate the change could lead to savings between $24 and $45 a household in the five years of the contract. The change also would help haulers by giving them more time to pay for equipment, said Hodges. Wow. One can save maybe $40 over 5 years or $8 per year. I don't know if this even buys a beer at the ball park.

Lester Stuckmeyer, attorney for some residents who have filed suits challenging the districts, said $24 in savings would be "$5 a year, pennies a month." The county is putting another Band-Aid over problems relating to the districts, he said.

Dooley also asked the council to change trash regulations to require a waste hauling contract for occupied premises. The current wording mandates contracts at the "premises where waste is generated." Right now the county endeavors to collect fees from unoccupied residence when residents head south for the winter.

The county gave David Skaer of south St. Louis County a ticket for violating regulations by not having a hauler. Skaer successfully overturned the county municipal court's finding of guilt that was based on the idea that everybody generates some trash. County Counselor Patricia Redington said it was difficult for county inspectors to prove a residence generates trash, requiring surveillance of the home of anyone who makes such a claim.

A regulation for all residents to have a trash hauler, but let the citizens select their own. This could be done on an individual homeowner basis or by individual subdivisions.


  1. Anonymous12:50 PM

    The only reason that Dooley and the council will do this, is so that they get less phone calls and complaints when the contract areas change. This is for their self satisfaction.

    What they should be doing is eliminating the OPT out areas and include the nearly 30,000 that don't belong to pull them into the program. This will help get trucks off of the streets, and lower the costs.
    Also, they should apply the costs to the Real Property tax base, this will significantly lower the costs because it eliminates the billing systems and the bad pay collection problems. It would reduce some head count at the County offices that have to help inforce and maintain this system as well as end the need for Trash Court for bad pays. Then, all county residents will be treated equally and much easier for the county to enforce.

    There are many things the county can do to improve this system, but the only thing they are interested in, is helping themselves.

  2. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Wow, if you don't like your hauler for 3 years, now you will have them for 5 years.

    Everyone should contact Charlie Dooley and thank him for this gift.

  3. Anonymous9:13 AM

    The best way to keep costs down is through the free market economy that this country was founded on and that made it great and strong for so many years. This principle along with sensible, rational, and unbiased regulation will keep costs down. This new attack on democracy by Temporiti and his puppets , can we be so sure he’s not still on Allied’s payroll, will save everybody $8.00 per year. WOW, now I can buy that candy bar I’ve had my eye on!
    People let’s get wise and start a recall of Dooley and all of his rubber stamps on the county council before the county becomes a cesspool of corruption. Or, maybe state or Federal officials need to look into this program.

  4. Anonymous10:28 AM

    If anyone thinks the price is going down, they need to re-evaluate.

    3 years ago there were many more competitors in this arena bidding on these contracts.

    Now, maybe 2, maybe.

    Has anyone see cable TV go down?

  5. Anonymous7:44 AM

    If costs are the issue, the items that would have the largest benefit at cost cutting are:

    Single Payer system, the county needs to come up with the funds and pay the contractor directly. This has the ability to substantially lower costs.

    Eliminate the OPT out program. This OPT out allows for almost 30% of the county to avoid the program, thus, putting more trucks on the street to do the same job, and weakness in the program.

    Include yard waste/green waste into the program, this would also spread out the cost and lower the cost. As well as stop yard waste from being thrown into the MSD sewers and behind shopping centers and onto empty lots. This would save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The county is now only running a program at about 60% effeciency, and having to monitor the administration of it. With the changes above, the program almost runs itself, and everyone is included, eliminating costly county administration.

    Either do it, and do it right, or get out of it.

  6. Anonymous8:47 AM

    Maybe Consolidation is the Answer.

    Bill to unite city, county surprises officials from both sides

  7. Anonymous12:22 PM

    A trial to determine the amount of damages owed the haulers has been moved from Feb. 24 to May 31 at the request of St. Louis County.

    This delay now allows enough time for the New Waste District bids to be rebid and awarded.

    Does anyone smell more manipulation?