The trash-districting plan that St. Louis County is getting ready to enact this year scares me.
This plan reeks of big government and — worse yet — socialism. It takes away what I believe to be core values upon which this nation was founded — free enterprise and freedom of choice. This plan takes away consumers’ rights to bargain for the best competitive price that suits their budget.
The trash-districting plan will have wide-ranging effects on not only unincorporated areas within St. Louis County, but municipalities like Green Park that already have trash plans in place.
If the respective trash hauler contracted is forced out of business, this would leave municipalities scrambling to get a contract in place to continue services without interruption and would most likely come at a much higher cost. There are other ways to implement recycling and limit truck traffic without forcing a plan on residents who don’t want it.
The city of Green Park implemented the same type of plan on its residents in 2006. It was met with fierce opposition.
After much debate and a clean sweep at the April 2007 election, the city of Green Park pays for one trash pickup and one recycling pickup per week.
The city also pays for two date-specific pickups of one major appliance or large household item — excluding white goods — per year. Yard waste and a second weekly trash pickup are the responsibility of the resident.
It is a win-win situation for the residents of Green Park.
Residents who wanted limited trash-truck traffic on their streets got what they wanted. Residents who wanted to choose their own trash hauler won’t have to pay for most of the services provided.
And hopefully in the near future, all trash services will be paid for by the city.
Now the responsibility for finding competitive prices when bidding for trash falls on us, Green Park elected officials, who will be held to task if we do not act in the best interest of the residents we represent.
St. Louis County should have to pay for its trash-districting plan if it is going to take residents’ choices. County officials can use the tax money collected from the dramatic increase in property re-assessments.
St. Louis city provides full trash services for its residents from tax revenues collected.
If St. Louis County cannot do the same, it needs to repeal its plan and let the residents make their own choices.
Ward 1 alderman/Board of Aldermen president