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 revisits waste services amid container concerns


Waste Connections and its services were a much discussed topic at the March 26 Crestwood Board of Aldermen meeting.

In late 2023, the board unanimously voted in favor to renew the city’s residential solid waste services with Waste Connections for an additional five years. The contract will increase monthly rates by $1 in the first year, which means residents will pay $21.78 per month as opposed to the $20.78 per month they formerly paid. For the remaining four years, rates will increase by 5% per year. 

Conversation on Waste Connections began at the recent meeting during the public comment portion, when two citizens of Brookview Drive came before the board to convey some issues they have had with the new containers provided by the company as they do not hold enough.

“The creek backs up to my house. I have thousands of trees … all the leaves come to me. That container does not take all the leaves. I usually have about 12,13 bags at a time. Now they want to charge us for each extra bag. Is this fair?” resident Alice Ghazarian said. 

“The new trash cans for refuse are not only unsuitable for a lot of properties in Crestwood, but they are dangerous to transport and move around properties,” Ghazarian’s next door neighbor Justin Smith added. “Anything with a slight incline produces quite a bit of danger in moving the trash can, which sits at about 5 and a half feet, especially if you don’t have the muscle mass or weight distribution. They are top heavy when they are not full. When they are loaded down, they are extremely difficult to move around.” 

After they spoke, Mayor Scott Shipley asked multiple times if the residents wanted to set up a meeting with him and/or staff to further discuss their issues, though it is unclear if they took him up on his offer. 

Another aspect of the new contract is the switch to fully automated trucks for waste pick-up. Because of this new automated system, Waste Connections was supposed to give all Crestwood residences three new carts for trash, recycling and yard waste. Though some are not pleased with the new carts, as heard above, some residents haven’t had the chance to use them due to a supply chain issue. 

“There is a supply chain issue where some of the new carts are not available. So Monday through Wednesday trash routes are using the new carts, and Thursday and Friday routes are still having trash removed the old way,” City Administrator Kris Simpson said.

The discussion continued during unfinished business, when the aldermen went over an ordinance amending chapter 23 of the city’s municipal code relating to solid waste management. The first reading of this bill passed at the board’s February meeting, though it was held for a second reading to ensure the board had “a chance to review all those proposed changes.” 

Before a vote for a second reading could be held, Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie made a motion to amend a small portion of the language in the ordinance. This amendment passed, though because the ordinance was amended on the second reading, that amendment was deemed a “change of substance.” The city attorney then advised that it should be held over again for a meeting to comply with the Sunshine Law. 

“Alderman Mabie’s change seemed minor, but it changed the interpretation of that section of the code in a meaningful way – that’s a change in substance,” Simpson explained. 

The board unanimously approved the ordinance at its April 9 meeting.