A petition drive by opponents of St. Paul’s new system of organized trash collection has persuaded city leaders to jettison one of its two ordinances. But that action won’t have any effect on the citywide garbage service that began this month.
Opponents gathered enough signatures to force city action on an ordinance establishing license requirements for haulers and other technical details. It has nothing to do with the meat of residents’ complaints — such as prices and the prohibition against sharing carts.
In fact, because those licensing and technical requirements are now part of St. Paul’s organized collection contract with haulers, the City Council on Wednesday is expected to repeal the ordinance itself, said Council President Amy Brendmoen.
“The other [ordinance] more directly addresses fees and other issues,” Brendmoen said. She wouldn’t speculate on what the council may do with that ordinance because “I haven’t seen another petition.”
Alisa Lein, one of organizers of the petition drives, said signatures still are being collected seeking a citywide vote on that ordinance. Opponents have until the last week of October to turn in their signatures for that one, but she said opponents already have collected more signatures than on their first petition. If they reach the threshold, it’s unclear what the City Council will do.
“We’re all in the same boat as far as knowing what happens next,” Lein said.
It’s been two weeks since the city launched its new system, and residents still have questions, such as: When is somebody going to take my old garbage cart? Or, what about that new bulky item pickup?
Lisa Hiebert, a spokeswoman for the Public Works Department, has answers.
Through Nov. 2, residents can put out their old carts on their new collection days. Hiebert reminded residents that their old cart must be empty to be removed.
Under the new system, haulers will pick up one bulky item too large to fit inside a cart, such as a sofa, in 2018 at no additional cost. Depending on cart size, haulers may take up to three bulky items per year after that. Residents should contact their hauler 48 business hours in advance of their collection day to schedule pickup of a bulky item.