St. Louis County’s trash-collection ‘scheme’ worries Oakville resident

I worry about the proposed trash-collection scheme that is proposed by the county.

I worry about the trash-hauling companies. The setup favors the big trash-hauling companies because the small one-, two- and three-truck companies will not have the equipment to bid on an area. At best, the small companies will have to merge with other small companies to have any chance.

That being said, the big trash companies can grow their profits by reducing the size of the number of employees. Because they will have well-defined areas of collection, they can control the number of employees they have to pay. What deal did the big trash companies strike with the county?

I also worry about being forced to contract with somebody I do not want to contract with. It is one thing to be forced to contract with Laclede Gas, American Missouri Water and Ameren. It is quite another to contract with a trash hauler I do not want.

Although I am forced to contract with these utilities, at least federal, state and local government have a body of safeguards to protect my interest. With the trash-hauler situations, the rules are going to be made by fiat by the politicians in Clayton. As far as we all know now, there are no rules. And yet, they may have them there and will tell the public when they get good and ready.

Thirdly, I worry about who will handle the money. If the money is handled by the county, will they use it for other purposes even if it would be for a short-term purpose or would they use it for a deposit in a bank owned by a well-to-do contributor?

We do not even know how much the monthly charge will be. I, for one, would like to know this. Based on the economy of scale, the cost should lower. It should be lower, but what will the administrative cost be to run this program? How many bureaucrats will be hired to run this program and at what will be their salaries?

I worry about the statement of minimum standards for trash collection. The problem I have is that the county has set the bar so high that the St. Louis Arch can fit under it. There are some legitimate governmental issues involved. These include the time of pickup, noise and recycling. If they are legitimate, they should apply to Kirkwood, Crestwood, Hazelwood and all the other hundred or so other municipalities. But if you include their money going to the county, that is a different story. If one adds the loss of a federal or state tax deduction for trash pickup, it is even worse. That situation will not fly. The only thing left is just to beat up on the unincorporated areas and just suck up their money.

The devil is in the details. Those details may or may not have been known when the initial legislation was passed by the County Council, which had a different makeup last year. We still do not know what the details are. I suggest, as politics go, the details are changed with the makeup of the Council and the County Executive Charlie Dooley. The other members of the County Council are irrelevant.

Finally, I worry about the Call. The Call always publishes what the Lemay or Oakville Republican Club has to say on important issues. Maybe they should put the Democratic Clubs on the spot for once. Your paper seems to say that the Republicans were caught sleeping. But then, what else comes from a Democrat paper?

James F. Schaper

Oakville