Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

St Louis garbage collection problem December 23, 2009

Filed under: St Louis — budint @ 9:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

Managing a densely populated urban environment requires that city governments approach challenges with creative solutions.   Doing so can save the city money and increase the quality of life for its residents.  Consider the curb-side recycling program, the 27 drop-off recycling locations and operation brightside; all good programs that help make this a better place to live.

One of St Louis’ recent challenges however is that twice a week garbage pick-up has become too costly and thus they’re trying once a week service.  The motivation makes sense: save money by reducing fuel costs, truck use and city employee hours.  This approach however doesn’t make sense and has resulted in health and quality of life issues. (see picture)

Alternatives could be:

1) An education and awareness program that gets citizens to think about their trash differently. For example, the above picture shows a lot of boxes and other bulky items that could be broken down or recycled.

2) A study could be done to see what alleys or neighborhoods produce the most trash and specifically target those.

3) Maybe specific dumpsters could be upgraded to larger ones and that would take the load off.

In any case, the refuse department should be thinking more creatively than just cutting pick-ups in half.  Lest the cuts lead to increased litter and decreased community pride, which then takes neighborhoods into downwards spirals when no one cares anymore.

I’m sure the folks at Good Magazine have seen some new unique approaches that cities have used.  Just need the people running our city services to look outside the box.


2 Responses to “St Louis garbage collection problem”

  1. Eric Zumwalt Says:

    Hey there!
    Happened upon this blog and thought you might be interested in an event some friends of mine are getting together. It’s called ‘Clean The Lou’. The goal is to get people out on a day in September 2010 together with their neighbors in order to help clean up St. Louis.
    The hope is that people would meet their neighbors, clean their respective neighborhoods, and that the value of this city would be restored during the process. Apart from just physically cleaning the city, we hope this unity would bond neighbors like family and help end some of the senseless bloodshed and violence. We hover within the top 5 most dangerous areas in which to live among the US.
    So, just thought I’d pass along the website. The plans are laid, but the web based media is still fresh. More will come very soon. If interested at all please feel free to check us out on Facebook, Twitter,, or e-mail me! We eagerly seek anyone who want to see this city better itself any way possible.
    Thanks for your Blog, and your desire to see STL be a little more green!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    When I passed though there, the whole city looked like that. They should just burn the place down completely, especially East St.Louis and just start over from scratch

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