South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Crestwood aldermen approve new contract with Waste Connections

Qualifying residents will continue to get a discount

The Crestwood Board of Alderman extensively discussed the city’s residential solid waste services renewal at its Oct. 24 meeting before unanimously voting in favor of said renewal at its Nov. 14 meeting. The present contract with Waste Connections, the city’s current solid waste contractor, is set to end March 31, 2024, though with approval, an additional five-year term has been added.

The newly approved contract increases monthly rates by $1 in the first year, meaning residents will pay $21.78 per month as opposed to the $20.78 per month they currently pay. For the remaining four years, rates will increase by 5% per year.

“Residents should know that the pricing on this new contract is extremely competitive,” City Administrator Kris Simpson said. “Our last contract was approved five years ago, before COVID and before all of this inflation. Our research suggests that other local communities are paying an average rate of $28.73 per month. More recently, there were three communities – (Clayton, Ellisville and Wildwood) – who approved contracts in 2021, 2022 and 2023 with rates over $50 per month. For Crestwood to come in well below that at $21.78 per month is great news for residents.”

Not every resident will be paying the full amount, however, as the discount for senior, disabled and limited-income residents will continue through this next contract. These rates will increase slightly, though, from $5.23 per month to $5.99 per month.

Moving away from the financial side of things, another notable change from the previous contract is the switch to fully automated trucks for waste pick-up.

“This will make service faster and more reliable, resulting in a better experience for our residents,” Simpson said.

Because of this new automated system, Waste Connections will be giving all Crestwood residences three new carts. The trash carts and yard waste carts will be 95 gallons, while the recycling carts will be 65 gallons, though if residents would like to switch out any of their carts for different sizes, Waste Connections will replace them free of charge. The company does want the carts to stay at the 65-gallon and 95-gallon sizes, as the smaller 35-gallon model has a different circumference, which can lead to it getting dropped into the truck.

“That’s a big problem,” Tony LaMantia, municipal rep. with Waste Connections, said.

“That’s a bad day,” Mayor Scott Shipley agreed.

These new carts do not mean, however, that residents will be unable to use the carts they already own. If their carts are compatible with the new automated pick-up trash trucks, residents can use them in addition to their new carts when needed, though they must be correctly marked. Unfortunately, if residents have old carts that are not compatible, they will not be able to use them for trash, recycling or yard waste removal.

When it comes to yard waste specifically, residents have three options if they exceed the provided 95-gallon cart. First, as mentioned above, they can self-supply a compatible cart which Waste Connections will pick up at no additional charge. Second, residents can rent additional yard waste carts from Waste Connections for $8 per month per cart. To obtain these additional carts, residents must call Waste Connections.

Finally, residents are also permitted to use up to five 30-gallon yard waste bags per month at no additional charge. Any additional yard waste bags will be picked up for $5 per bag. To get the extra bags, the resident must call Waste Connections.

“That way the driver knows that they’re paid for, they’re taken care of, and he can pick them up. Otherwise he doesn’t know whether to pick them up or not, whether it’s over the five bags,” LaMantia said. “It just makes it easier for the driver.”

As far as bulk pickup, the charges will remain at the current price of $21.87 per pick-up. Residents will have a two-item limit per week, though for those two items to be picked up, they must call the customer service department of Waste Connections for scheduling so the company knows what size truck to bring out.

The ordinance was originally on the consent agenda at the board’s Oct. 24 meeting, though it was removed by Ward 3 Alderman Greg Hall as he wanted clarification on a few things. The aldermen passed the motion through its first reading, with everyone voting in favor but Ward 4 Alderman Tony Kennedy who was excused. When it came time to vote on a second reading, Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie voted “nay” as he wanted more time to review the details.

Conversation picked back up at the board’s Nov. 14 meeting as the board was voting on final approval. The notes and clarifications section of the contract was updated to reflect the discussion from the previous meeting, though Mabie made a motion for one final amendment to section 1B of the aforementioned section.

“The concern is just making it clear that the damaged carts (mentioned) are only damaged carts that are not damaged by the contractor,” Crestwood’s City Attorney Lisa Stump said. “So, I would suggest that we just add in there: ‘damaged carts, not caused by contractor, will be replaced at a cost of $60 per cart.’ I do not believe that is a change in substance because it’s just clarifying and cleaning up the understanding of the parties.”

When put to a vote, the amendment received a unanimous “aye.” The contract extension ordinance as a whole was voted on next and earned the same result.

The new waste contract will begin for the city once the current contract expires March 31, 2024.