Hi, this is Celeste. I cover city hall for the P-D. The city began charging for trash pickup in 2010 as a way to bring in extra money - they were facing a big budget shortfall. Unfortunately, the money flowed into the city's general revenue fund, where it can be spent on many other priorities over the years. By 2017, officials realized they'd dropped the ball and raised the fee. That fee is designated specifically to replace and maintain trucks, buy security cameras and fund the trash task force through the city police. There were a number of aldermen who opposed raising the fees given that the money was never adequately invested in trash service, but proponents admitted they made a mistake and argued the increase was the only way out of the hole.
Quick caveat: that fee designated to replace trucks I mentioned below - only the INCREASE - the additional $3 you've been paying starting last year, is earmarked for trash.
Illegal dumping is a problem throughout the city. I suggest contacting your alderman and also filing a complaint with the Citizens Service Bureau so the city has an official record of all the dumping issues going on in the city. The CSB phone number is 622-4800.
Hi Robert. There is now a dedicated revenue stream for maintaining and replacing the aging truck fleet. That's what the increase in the trash fees has been spent on - trash trucks cost about $250,000 a piece and they're going to be phased in over time. However, cuts to personnel over time are not addressed in that fee increase. The city's HR director has already raised the alarm about that.
If anyone watching has a story to share about trash in your neighborhood or efforts to contact the city, please feel free to share it with us.
Mayor Krewson told us earlier this month that the city is making sure that all dumpsters get the stickers again so residents know when to place bulk items in the alley. A mailer with the water bill is a good suggestion. We'll forward your idea to Krewson.
Hi Benrique. I would encourage you to do what you're already doing; call and make complaints. Can you give me a call at 314-340-8349? We're looking for residents to talk to about their experiences with calling the Citizens Service Bureau.
Many north STL residents we've spoken to so far feel the same way. We hope they’ll continue to talk to us about their struggles with this over the years. I can be reached at (314) 340-8119, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would contact your alderman but you will likely be told that unless you pick them up, they will likely remain on the ground.