Information about Saint Paul’s Garbage Referendum Vote

(November 5, 2019) on Ordinance 18-39

WHO: All Saint Paul residents who are eligible to vote in the 2019 general election.

WHAT: Saint Paul residents can vote on whether to keep Ordinance 18-39 in effect on the upcoming general election ballot. Ordinance 18-39 created the regulations and rates that apply to coordinated garbage collection for more than 73,000 residential 1-4 units in Saint Paul.

WHEN: General election is Tuesday, November 5, 2019 

WHERE: To find your polling place, visit: https://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/. To vote before election day: https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/elections-voting/voters/vote-election-day

BALLOT LANGUAGE:

TITLE:

Referendum on whether Ordinance 18-39 should remain in effect.

QUESTION:

Should Ordinance 18-39, entitled “Residential Coordinated Collection,” remain in effect for residential trash collection in St. Paul? Ordinance 18-39 creates new rules for the collection and disposal of trash and payment for trash service; and requires that certain residential dwellings have trash collected by a designated trash hauler.  A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of keeping Ordinance 18-39.  A “No” vote is a vote to get rid of Ordinance 18-39. 

WHAT WILL A “YES” VOTE DO?

There would be no changes to the current organized trash collection program.  

WHAT WILL A “NO” VOTE DO?

“Yes” Vote

Ordinance 18-39 stays in place

“No” Vote

Ordinance 18-39 is repealed

Does the current citywide coordinated collection continue?

Yes. There would be no changes to the current program under the existing contract.

Yes. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the City’s contract with the garbage haulers would remain in effect and the City will continue to operate under the terms of the contract. That means garbage would continue to be collected by the designated garbage haulers per the contract between the City and St. Paul Haulers, LLC.

Can residents share garbage carts?

No. All occupied residential 1-4 units are required to have a garbage cart per unit.

No. City ordinance requires each occupied residential building with 1-4 units to have approved containers for the collection of solid waste, independent of Ordinance 18-39. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the designated haulers would continue to collect garbage under the terms of the existing contract.

Can residents opt out of the citywide garbage program?

No. All occupied residential 1-4 units are required to have a garbage cart per unit.

No. City ordinance requires each occupied residential building with 1-4 units to have approved containers for the collection of solid waste, independent of Ordinance 18-39. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the designated haulers would continue to collect garbage under the terms of the existing contract.  

Can residents choose their own garbage hauler?

No. The contract designates a specific garbage hauler to collect residents’ garbage in a specific area on a designated day each week.

No. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the City’s contract with the garbage haulers remains in effect and the City will continue to operate under the terms of the contract. The contract designates a specific garbage hauler to collect residents’ garbage in a specific area on a designated day each week.

Per the contract, garbage haulers cannot take residential customers in 1-4 Unit buildings.

Will the city be able to return to the “old” open-hauler system used before October 1, 2018?

No. The current citywide garbage program continues.

This is unlikely. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the City’s contract with the garbage haulers remains in effect and the City will continue to operate under the terms of the contract.

How will residents pay for their garbage service?

Citywide garbage program continues. All residents in 1-4 units will be billed quarterly from their designated garbage hauler with standardized rates based on their cart size.

Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the designated haulers would continue to collect trash under the terms of the existing contract. Under that scenario, the haulers will still collect garbage, but the financial obligation may be shifted from individual rate-payers to all property owners in Saint Paul, through our City general fund. The cost for garbage collection for 2020 is estimated at $27.1 million, which would require an additional 17.4% increase in the property tax levy if the City were to pay the trash contract. To find out how this would impact your property taxes, use the property tax estimator here:  https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/financial-services/city-saint-paul-property-tax-estimator. The City will work with the haulers to prevent double payments and ensure that billing and payment requirements are clear. The City will provide property owners with additional information regarding billing as it develops. 

With the vote happening on November 5, do I need to pay my October garbage bill?

Yes. To avoid late fees, residents should pay their garbage bill for Quarter 4 services (October 1-December 31) by October 25, 2019.

Yes. To avoid late fees, residents should pay their garbage bill for Quarter 4 services (October 1-December 31) by October 25, 2019.

Can I cancel my garbage service?

No. All occupied residential 1-4 units are required to have garbage service.

Per the contract, garbage haulers cannot take cancellations.

No. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the designated haulers would continue to collect garbage under the terms of the existing contract. Due to the contract, garbage haulers cannot take cancellations.

Will I be able to suspend garbage service when I am out of town on vacation?

Yes. Under the current contract, property owners are able to place a temporary service hold on garbage collection for up to 26 weeks per year and not be billed for garbage services during that time.

Yes. Garbage services can be placed on a temporary hold. The property tax levy would not be pro-rated to reflect any service holds.

Can I suspend my garbage service for vacant units/properties?

Yes. Under the current contract, property owners are able to contact the City to suspend garbage service for unoccupied units/properties.

Yes. Garbage services can be suspended for unoccupied units/properties. The property tax levy would not be pro-rated to reflect any vacancies.

Can I negotiate a new rate for services with my garbage hauler?

No. Under the contract, rates are set with cart sizes and service levels.

No. Unless otherwise directed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the City’s contract with the garbage haulers remains in effect and the City will continue to operate under the terms of the contract. Under the contract, garbage haulers may not negotiate individual rates with property owners.

CITYWIDE GARBAGE SERVICE – FACTS & NUMBERS AS REPORTED BY THE CITY AND GARBAGE HAULERS

Number of residential units (1-4) in the program: 73,485

Units per Property Type:

Number of units that did not have identified garbage service prior to October 1, 2018: 9,300

Total tons of garbage collected in Saint Paul (Oct. 1, 2018-July 1, 2019): 30,410,260

Total garbage pick-ups (Oct 1, 2018-July 1, 2019): 2,843,869

Total missed garbage pick-ups (Oct 1, 2018-July 1, 2019): 2,735 or .001%

Total number of bulky items collected (Oct 1, 2018-July 1, 2019): 4,648