City Trash Crisis

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
I'm not normally one prone to alarmist prattling, but the current situation in regards to trash pick up, or lack thereof, across the City of St. Louis is pretty dystopian in scope.

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/met ... 720.html#2

I know that dumping has been a big problem on the North Side and some areas of the South Side for years and am glad that the City is taking steps to catch dumpers, but the larger problem of the trash fee not being spent to upgrade the trash truck fleet seems to need real consideration. I know that the trash fee goes into GR under User Fees so it is hard to see exactly how much it is bringing in, but it is pretty obvious at least some of the money is being diverted to other, less essential programs. Scanning through the budget, it seems like the Refuse Division is going to be forced to take more, considerable cuts in personnel while certain other city offices are adding personnel, including, for some reason, the Treasurers office. This seems totally unacceptable and the Board of Aldermen/Mayor's office needs to set things straight. The trash issue is not only embarrassing, it is a serious threat to the City and its residents' health and safety.
Is it actually a crisis? I haven't noticed an unusual number of missed pickups in Southampton, and no complaints on Nextdoor about it. I wonder if the issue is limited to areas with frequent illegal dumping compounded by a lack of people who tidy up loose garbage in the alleys. The video showed a Greater Ville alleyway littered with trash, and an elderly couple who obviously couldn't pick it up. Not blaming residents, just wondering how extensive the issue is.
^ yes, it's a crisis. come on over to Dutchtown or any of the surrounding neighborhoods if you want to see the extent of the problem. i clean up my alley as much as possible but there's not much i can do about piles of tires and mattresses, refrigerators, big screen TVs, construction debris, overturned dumpsters, etc. on an almost daily basis.
stlhistory wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:36 pm
Is it actually a crisis? I haven't noticed an unusual number of missed pickups in Southampton, and no complaints on Nextdoor about it. I wonder if the issue is limited to areas with frequent illegal dumping compounded by a lack of people who tidy up loose garbage in the alleys. The video showed a Greater Ville alleyway littered with trash, and an elderly couple who obviously couldn't pick it up. Not blaming residents, just wondering how extensive the issue is.
I've seen trash piling up in multiple alleyways in Lindenwood Park when pick up has been skipped a week or two, and dumping has definitely gotten worse behind some of the apartment units, with bulk pickup seemingly not occurring at all. I also imagine morale at the Refuse division is a possible explanation for why the operators who collect the roll our carts knock them all over the place, damaging them to the point of requiring replacement every year or so. I'm glad that the problems aren't manifesting in Southampton, but if this is the kind of thing many on the Northside have been dealing with for years, I understand why people are pissed. It's very unpleasant to walk your dog past an alley full of reeking, rotting garbage, and I can't imagine what it's like to have it behind your house.
It would probably help if everyone clearly knew precisely what "dumping" was; if the regulations on what you can and can't put in the brightside bins was more clear. And if "bulk" pickup were better advertised. I don't believe I've ever received so much as a letter than suggested to me when bulk pickup was or where I should go with household hazmat. And I've owned a house here for two and a half years now. Maybe that stuff is in the bill in small print, but . . . if so it's not obvious. Honestly, this feels like another case of criminalizing poverty. I'll figure that stuff out when necessary, as I have time and access to the internet. But will the guy that knocks on my door and asks if he can rake my leaves? I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a computer. And he probably doesn't have much spare energy to spend on complicated and demanding things like research. But he does have a bed somewhere that will need to be disposed of sooner or later. Bet I can guess where he dumps it. (Him or more likely his landlord. Or should I say slumlord?)
Stltoday - Caught on camera: Look who the city nailed when it went after illegal dumpers
The cameras have led to 18 guilty pleas this year, including two by Ray Huffman, a contractor from Bonne Terre, Mo., a town about an hour south of St. Louis.

All but three of those who admitted to wrongdoing live outside the city of St. Louis.

“When you’ve got people from other jurisdictions coming here doing this, we’re sick of that,” said Matt Moak, a city attorney working on the initiative to stop illegal dumping.
In fiscal year 2017, residents dropped off 9,000 tons of refuse at the two city dumps. By comparison, city departments led by the forestry division picked up 22,000 tons of illegally dumped items. That does not include the 52,000 tires that have to be disposed of separately.
In the first year, the money was spent as follows:

Trash trucks: $1.35 million
Trash receptacles: $675,000
Transfer station (city dump): $307,500
Trash taskforce: $255,000
Cameras: $112,000
For the current year:

Trash trucks: $1.4 million
Trash receptacles: $900,000
Transfer station: $410,000
Trash taskforce: $340,000
Payments on financed trash trucks: $360,000
https://m.stltoday.com/news/local/metro ... 24c3a.html
Stltoday - Tipping point: St. Louis residents, fed up with city's dumping problem, want action

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/met ... 76720.html
quincunx wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:04 am
Stltoday - Caught on camera: Look who the city nailed when it went after illegal dumpers
The cameras have led to 18 guilty pleas this year, including two by Ray Huffman, a contractor from Bonne Terre, Mo., a town about an hour south of St. Louis.

All but three of those who admitted to wrongdoing live outside the city of St. Louis.

“When you’ve got people from other jurisdictions coming here doing this, we’re sick of that,” said Matt Moak, a city attorney working on the initiative to stop illegal dumping.
If that's where the majority of our illegal dumping problem is coming from, outside contractors and non-residents, then I'll reconsider my skepticism and cheer the enforcement effort. If the effort identifies where it's coming from it can't hurt. Guess I owe the sanitation department my apologies.
^ some recent renters next door to my house couldn't be bothered to actually place their bags of garbage inside the dumpster. instead, they would chuck the untied bags on the ground next to the dumpster, directly in front of my alley gate. wouldn't you know, that garbage ended up strewn all over the alley almost every time. i don't care if you're poor or if you're a billionaire; if you do sh*t like that you deserve to pay a fine and/or put in 40–100 hrs cleaning up garbage.
More PD coverage and opinion.

For those living north of Delmar Boulevard, trash complaints addressed at a slower rate

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/met ... c1f4d.html

Editorial: St. Louis' trash problems are part of blight's vicious cycle

https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/editor ... c72bb.html

Privatization is an obvious answer for St. Louis' trash problem

https://www.stltoday.com/business/colum ... 4e2d8.html
The fact that it takes three times as long for many north city neighborhoods to get trash complaints "addressed" as as disgraceful as it is unsurprising.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:43 am
^ some recent renters next door to my house couldn't be bothered to actually place their bags of garbage inside the dumpster. instead, they would chuck the untied bags on the ground next to the dumpster, directly in front of my alley gate. wouldn't you know, that garbage ended up strewn all over the alley almost every time. i don't care if you're poor or if you're a billionaire; if you do sh*t like that you deserve to pay a fine and/or put in 40–100 hrs cleaning up garbage.
This is actually a really good idea that the city should implement... if you get caught illegally dumping, then the punishment is 100 hours of community cleanup - picking up trash from alleys, along streets, overflowing dumpsters, etc.

Side note, does any community group currently schedule cleanup brigades or trash blitzes? I could see this being a huge benefit in some places, especially if done consistently.
I remember few weeks ago when the Post ran a story about City trash problems with a photo of a private company dumpster at a downtown loft...


also i wonder how many people realize any building with more than 4 units is required to have private company dumpster.