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COMMUNITY NEWS

  

KSTP.com   September 3, 2018

St. Paul Residents Are Organizing Against the City's New Trash Regulations

New St. Paul trash plan costs way more than it should

OPINION > LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

PUBLISHED:

St. Paul is mired in controversy surrounding the city-mandated transition from free-market trash hauling to “coordinated collection” of that same trash.  As new garbage carts roll out, some residents are pleased and others are shocked.

At the household level, almost everybody applauds fewer big trucks in their neighborhood and the resulting efficiency.

But some of us, many actually, feel attacked by what we perceive as grossly unfair and inflexible rules.  Specifically, “no sharing” of trash containers and “no opt-out” for those who generate little or no trash.

It appears that most single-family households (except zero-wasters) will see modest increases or decreases in their annual garbage hauling fees.

On the other hand, zero-wasters plus many residents in 2-, 3- and 4-unit buildings are seeing fee increases of double, triple, or even five times more than they have been paying under the decades-old system.

 

 

The overall cost of city-wide organized collection should be cheaper, NOT more expensive.  But, the total price to be paid by consumers is up, not down.  After looking at data collected and distributed by St. Paul’s Department of Public Works, one local analyst (John Genereux) calculates that approximately 73,000 affected St. Paul households will be forced to pay an excess cost of about $11.6 million per year, for a total of $58 million during the city’s five-year garbage contract.

Within the past few months this hot-button issue has generated lawsuits plus a petition campaign that seeks a referendum in which voters can choose to accept or reject the city council’s new garbage ordinances.

My hope is that the collection of our residential trash will receive the thoughtful deliberation it deserves but has not received.

Eric Lein, St. Paul

THE CASE FOR ORGANIZING GARBAGE

     In late 2015, a study and proposal for organized hauling was released by Saint Paul's Macalester-Groveland Community Council.  

     Before a 5-year contract was signed two years later, consumers were led to believe (falsely?) that: "The main benefits of organizing involve cost, energy and efficiency of geography."

(Link to minnpost.com article)

THE FINAL COST OF ORGANIZED GARBAGE

     In late 2017, the City & Haulers signed their 5-year contract.  Six months later the City "rolled out" details of its program mandates:  No sharing of trash carts; No opt-out; No exceptions.

     Instead of benefiting from touted savings (via energy and efficiency of geography), 73,000 consumers city-wide will pay $11.6 million more.

     Thousands of households will be forced to pay monthly charges to haulers for thousands of empty, unwanted and unnecessary trash carts.

     Who benefits -- Haulers, City, County, State ... or Customers?      [Hint:  Not the customers]

(Link to chart - Analysis by John Genereux)

(Also see - Real-Life Examples)

Public Comments for ORD 18-39

[Click image for .pdf file]

 

PUBLIC HEARING   8/22/2018

Ordinance # 18-39   (City video)

Testimony That Speaks Volumes...

What does city council candidate Shirley Erstad say about Saint Paul's new (dis-)Organized Trash Collection program?

   

We are not endorsing any candidates, but Shirley's message does convey our reasons for seeking referendums.  In this video she points out many issues that we will confront if the City's current plan goes into effect.   

St. Paul's garbage-hauling plan is very much alive--a hot topic issue--that needs to be addressed now and into the future. 

[Click photo for link to YouTube video.]

Joe Soucheray:  If you think this is a good idea, your ox hasn't been gored yet.

RECENT NEWS (June 20, 2018):
MN High Court Rules for Citizens Fighting Bloomington on Garbage

[Also see:  And-Then-What?]

Summit Hill Association
Votes to Support Petition Effort

 

   

Public Reacts to Trash Plan

Comments by St. Paul residents

  • St. Paul's mandated "No Sharing" of trash carts will impose an unfair burden on owners and residents of 2-, 3- and 4-unit buildings.  The increased costs will contribute to "skyrocketing" rents and will hamper efforts aimed at "affordable" housing -- two issues about which many people in city government say they are very concerned.  From this citizen's perspective, City-mandated no sharing of trash containers exposes local "concern" as little more than lip service.

  • "No Sharing" and "No Opt-out" are also issues that, I believe, will harm "Zero Waste" efforts.  People who generate little or no trash are mandated by the City to have unnecessary trash carts, city fees, and hefty trash bills forced onto them.  It is a sad and short-sighted fact that St. Paul's new rules fly in the face of efforts to reduce trash via composting, recycling, etc. 

    
Questions?      Click  here  for our FAQ page.   
 

This petition drive is a first step toward
achieving these GOALS:

  • Ability to Opt Out
  • Ability to Share Containers
  • Reduce Excessive Price Increases
  • Reduce Excessive Space Requirements
  • Make the Program FAIR TO ALL
Real-Life Examples
Financial & Space Implications
Then What?

Petitions now.  What's next?