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 Board of Aldermen evaluates new waste contract

Qualifying residents will pay a discounted rate

The Crestwood Board of Alderman extensively discussed the city’s residential solid waste services renewal at its Oct. 24 meeting as the present contract with Waste Connections, the city’s current solid waste contractor, is set to end March 31, 2024. This ordinance was originally on the consent agenda, though it was removed by Ward 3 Alderman Greg Hall as he wanted to clarify a few things.

Wanting to continue business with Crestwood, Waste Connections proposed a five-year contract extension with the city. This 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 5 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 are able to 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 – the main topic of conversation amongst the aldermen at the meeting– 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 are able to rent additional yard waste carts from Waste Connections for $8 per month per cart. These carts can stay at the residence for as long as they are needed, and as soon as they are not, Waste Connections will pick them up. To obtain these additional carts, residents must call Waste Connections. 

Third, 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, though to get them, the resident must call Waste Connections just as they would for the extra carts.

“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.”

Of course, if something does not fit in a cart – like a curtain rod or bundled tree limbs, for example – Waste Connections will still pick it up. This will only become problematic if it happens often, in which case the residence may receive a phone call from the company, but for the occasional larger item, there is no need to worry. 

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 in order 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. 

While in the past there may have been some concerns and issues related to the company’s customer service, LaMantia assured the board that this has changed.

“We gave up a contract (with) nine drivers and 12 trucks, and I gained nine drivers and 12 trucks,” he said. “We dispersed them in the cities that we have and we don’t want to lose – you’re one. I think service is pretty outstanding right now. I’m very happy with things, and I hope you are.” 

The aldermen passed the motion through its first reading, with everyone voting in favor but Ward 4 Alderman Tony Kennedy who was excused from the meeting. When it came time to vote on a second reading, however, Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie voted “nay” as he wanted more time to review the details. The ordinance is not specifically time-sensitive as the current contract does not expire until the end of March, so this did not cause any issues. The ordinance will simply instead be read for a second time at the board’s November meeting. 

More specific information on this new contract will be provided to residents in early 2024.