Wednesday, April 13, 2011

St. Louis County Trash Bids Leave a Lot to be Desired. Why do Some Residents Pay Much More than Others?

Householders in four of St. Louis County's eight trash collection districts are likely to pay less five years from now for basic service than they do today. The savings range from $1.44 a month to $2.20 a month depending on the district.

The savings would be a result of hauler bids for five-year contracts. Allied Waste Services submitted the apparent low bids that would win the contracts in all four districts. The new contracts would take effect in early October.

How do you spell MONOPOLY? Something just doesn’t smell right. Gasoline prices are going out of sight and gas is one of the main expenses of a trash hauling company - so the trash hauler (Allied Waste Services in this case) drops their rates by 23% in North County and wins all four trash districts.

In the 1st trash collection district mainly in far north St. Louis County, householders now pay $13.14 a month for basic service. If the county confirms the bids, the amount would drop to $10.10 a month in October and rise to $11.15 in October, 2015.

In the 3rd district in the area generally between St. Ann, Overland, Creve Coeur, Chesterfield and Maryland Heights, the figures are $12.31 a month now; $9.35 a month in October and $10.32 a month in October, 2015.

These figures are interesting. Why is trash hauling 7% less expensive in these areas as compared to North County? Are North County residents getting ripped off in the process?

And is hauling trash in South County really more expensive than hauling trash in Affton? Like 6% more expensive?

In the 5th district in Affton, the figures are $13.29 now, $10.05 a month in October, and $11.09 in October, 2015. In the 7th district in south St. Louis County, the figures are $13.28 a month now, $10.73 in October and $11.84 in October, 2015.

Allied's prices were in some districts more than $2 a month lower than the nearest competitor. Other bidders for all four districts were IESI, Meridian Waste Services and Waste Management. Christian Environmental Services submitted bids for the 3rd and 5th districts only.

The average rates being offered by Allied, come October, are around $10.05 (with a high of $10.73 to a low of $9.35 come October). If the nearest competitor is more than $2 per month higher, that’s a difference of over 20% more. This raises the question if the lowest bidder is actually the best choice when it comes to quality, customer service, responsiveness, etc?

The contracts do not permit haulers to add fuel or administrative surcharges.

About three years ago, Allied won contracts for the 5th and 6th districts. Last year, the company bought the residential hauling assets of Veolia Environmental Services and took over that company's contracts in the 3rd, 4th and 7th districts. IESI now serves the 1st trash district.

The trash districts have been controversial, especially in south St. Louis County. Opponents have filed four lawsuits against them. Some other haulers refused to bid on the county contracts due to the pending legal cases. Haulers and/or St. Louis County may be required to refund trash charges back to county residents. A court decision is due soon.

Much of the opposition has been in the St. Louis County Council's 6th District in south St. Louis County represented by St. Louis County Council Chairman Steven Stenger, D-Affton.


  1. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Ironically, the biggest looser could end up being St. Louis County Health Dept.
    If Allied monopolizes all 8 districts, they will haul all the trash to Illinois landfills, thus bypassing the Missoui landfills and the State and County tipping fees at landfills.
    Allied utilizes a transfer station in Bridgeton to move the volume to Illinois.
    St. Louis County will loose out on millions of tipping fee dollars that fund the Health Dept.
    Also, in January, Allied purchased QRS recycle and will be capturing the recycle stream as well.
    Oh yeah, John Temporiti was at one time the Lobbyist/Consultant for Allied when this whole thing started with the County. John Temporiti is now sleeping with Charlie Dooley.

  2. Anonymous12:13 PM

    Anyone with a suspicious mind, or that’s in touch with reality, would think that Allied had some inside information. For inside information read “Temporiti”.