Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dooley Defends Trash Districts at Grantwood Village Meeting

County Executive Charlie Dooley defended the county's trash-collection districts last week, contending the program has cut residents' trash bills and reduced the number of trucks and cans on the streets.

Dooley told a group of Grantwood Village residents at a Board of Trustees meeting that when the county contracted with haulers three years ago to provide exclusive service in unincorporated areas, it was no different than what municipalities already were doing.

When he joined the County Council in 1995, Dooley said constituents in the 1st District frequently brought up the topic of trash collection.

"That's all I heard about: 'I've got four or five trucks coming down my street every week. Can you do something about it?'" Dooley said. "There are places in north county that people pay $60 a month for two trash pickups. Some places are $30.

"That is documented proof. The reason why I know it is because a couple of my directors live in north county and told me that's what they pay: $60 a month ...

"We had people on different streets paying different things and trucks in the area every day of the week, trash cans out every day of the week."

Unincorporated areas were divided into eight trash districts in 2008. Residents are required to set up service with their district's hauler or face prosecution. Unauthorized trash companies are prohibited from providing waste collection.

Officials have said they established the program as a way to standardize service, encourage recycling, save unincorporated residents money through competitive bidding and reduce the frequency of trash trucks on the streets. But many residents — particularly in south county, where four of the eight districts are situated — have argued that the program took away their right to choose their hauler or whether to have trash service at all.

And waste haulers who were not awarded trash district contracts contend they've lost a significant amount of business as a result of the program.

Several lawsuits have been filed over the establishment of the program. In one suit, a ruling is pending on how much in damages the county must pay three haulers that successfully argued they did not receive a state-required two years' written notification before the trash districts' establishment.


  1. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Wasn’t Judge Wallace supposed to rule by August 15 on how much the county owed the haulers due to their failure to obey state law? If and when she rules we’ll find out just how much money this extremely unpopular program has “saved” the county tax payers. Let’s all wise up and throw out the trash that forced this on us at the next county wide election.

  2. Anonymous5:43 PM

    Dooley and county council have interfered with private business. The cost of milk is different depending on where you go, the cost of beer is different, the cost of automobiles is different, the cost of trash bags are different, the cost of gasoline is different, the cost of many, many, many things are different depending on where you go. Is the County government going to try and regulate all of those things?

    And since nearly 40% have opted out of the program, we still have people without prescribed service, overlapping trucks on the streets, differing prices, and unregulated waste.

    Only 60% of the county is under the dictatorship, the other 40% were smart enough to evade ST. Louis County rules.

  3. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Dooley says he saved money, I would like to see an audit to confirm that.

    The money spent on county administration fees, court cost for trash court, county lawyers fees to battle the 5 law suites, the potential cost of loosing the big lawsuit, the costs related to the program, all add up. I doubt the county really saved any money at all.

  4. Anonymous10:32 AM

    The biggest loss to St. Louis County, is that Allied Waste has most of the contracts, and they move the trash through their transfer station to Illinois. St. Louis County does not collect county tipping fees at transfer stations, only landfills. So, all the county trash that is diverted, St. Louis county misses out on those fees. Why doesn't St. Louis County charge the same tipping fee at transfer stations as they do to landfills?
    Allied saves big bucks on this tax dodge.