The city of Des Peres will continue to negotiate with its trash hauling service to change trash collection from Mondays to Thursdays, the same day as yard waste and recyclable pickups.

According to a citizen survey, most Des Peres residents support the change, which would reduce costs to the city. But Waste Connections prefers spreading out the trash, yard waste and recycling collection and rejected changing the contract that would result in a lower cost to the city.

“They have made the decision that they would rather get their rate increase on Jan. 1 and keep the schedule the same versus changing the scheduling and giving us a 2.5% reduction,” City Administrator Doug Harms said.

Harms said Waste Connections reports that it has become extremely difficult to honor its contract with the city because of driver shortages and the inflationary impact on fuel and fleet costs. 

“We asked them to freeze our rate at its current level and not give them the increase they were expecting on Jan. 1,” Harms said. “Then delay every increase by one year, and the contract would end in 2027 instead of 2026. Their corporate people don’t want to do that. They claim they’re losing money on the contract.”

The rate is now $19.50 and was scheduled to go to $20.04 in January, which would be roughly $30,000 more for Waste Connection. 

Alderman John Pound said most people do their yard work on weekends and put their bags out on Monday.

“If we get rain or snow, then you have bags sitting at curbside that are wet and fall apart. It can be a real mess,” he said. “You can’t put them out on Monday if pickup isn’t until Thursday.”

While Harms recommended that the board reject Waste Connection’s appeal to forego Monday yard waste pickups and stay with the existing contract, Board Member Pat Barrett asked that the city keep negotiating and attempt to reach an agreement benefiting both parties.

Des Peres Mayor Mark Becker and the board agreed.