You’ve Got Trash!

20 08 2012

A millionaire landlord from Ladue ditches the city’s refuse service in favor of Allied Waste. There’s only one problem: the private company isn’t picking up the trash. 

“They need to get them cans out of the alley,” said the city worker, who sat behind the wheel of the big orange trash truck. The “cans” to which he referred are the blue dumpsters that now compete not only for space but also business with the St. Louis Refuse Division.

Allied Waste’s neglected dumpsters behind 6325 Sutherland Ave.

Two years ago, the city began charging property owners for trash pick up. The fee is $11 a month per unit. That amounts to $462 a year in additional expenses for the owners of four-family apartments. Under the ordinance, property owners can cancel the service if they show proof that they are having a private company haul the trash instead of using the city service.

After permitting private trash pick up, the law stipulates that the city will “inspect the property thereafter to confirm that the waste in fact is being collected.” But that’s not what’s happening in the 6300 block of Sutherland Avenue in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood, where trash has been accumulating for months. Plastic bags of rotting garbage have been festering all summer. The trash is now overflowing and spilling into the alley.

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What a Dump!

10 07 2012

City officials deny illegal dumping in Carondelet Park. The clearing in the background is the location of the alleged illegal landfill.

Cloaked by a grove of trees just beyond public view at the  free-compost site in Carondelet Park, the city Forestry Division is covering up its real dirty work.

by Bill Newmann

With the first bloom of the crocus, the foragers begin to descend on the southeast corner of Carondelet Park with shovels and pitchforks in hand.  Among the gardening set, a visit to the South St. Louis compost pile is a rite of spring.

The pilgrimages, which continue throughout the growing season, have the down-to-earth purpose of adding soil nutrients to front yard rose beds and backyard tomato patches.  Not surprisingly, urban gardeners and  landscapers who participate in this humble ritual have long showered perennial praise on the St. Louis Forestry Division for the free compost and mulch it offers.

There is a dark side to Forestry’s green image, however.

The free compost – tons of it – is littered with every kind of trash imaginable. A stench fills the air next to a fetid clump of trash that has accumulated under a piece of heavy machinery.  Nearby, a green flip-flop protrudes from one compost pile. A hairbrush lies next to another.  Besides the abandoned footwear and the filthy article of grooming, there are countless fast-food containers, Styrofoam cups, plastic water bottles, and aluminum cans.

But the trash isn’t limited to the compost heaps.

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