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County Council chairman wants to extend moratorium on transfer stations


February 23, 2005 - By SCOTT MILLER

Staff Reporter

County Council Chairman John Campisi wants to extend a moratorium on trash-transfer stations, citing a recent study suggesting more stations aren't needed at this time.

"I would like to (extend the moratorium) if I could get the votes, maybe extend it out to five years and take a look at it then," the south county Republican told the Call. "There's enough trash transfers to serve St. Louis County. Why should we accept any of the applications?

"(The moratorium) would give the people in Oakville some piece of mind for a while. They've been fighting for a long time and rightfully so,'' he said, referring to Fred Weber Inc.'s efforts to construct a trash-transfer station in Oakville. "Nobody wants a trash-transfer station in their back yard. And a station just doesn't fit down there anyway."

Campisi isn't sure if his fellow Republicans are on board, but will decide in the near future whether to introduce legislation to extend the moratorium.

The county just received a study from R.W. Beck on the adequacy of its waste disposal. The county hired Beck in 2003 to conduct the study and prepare a waste management plan. At that time, the council put a moratorium on applications for trash-transfer stations until the study was complete. The moratorium expires in March.

Based on Beck's plan, waste disposal is adequate and no trash-transfer stations are needed at this time. But the door has been left open for companies seeking permits for stations. Developers should have the opportunity to prove special circumstances such as traffic congestion or industry competition that justify a new trash-transfer station, the study states.

"It's not a black-and-white answer," Karen Luken, senior director at R.W. Beck, told the Call.

"The thing in south county is you have two transfer stations ... Even in aggregate, the amount of waste that is generated on a daily basis is greater than what the facilities are permitted to receive," she said. "But south county is within driving distance of the Fred Weber landfill, so there may not be enough transfer stations, but there is the possibility of direct hauling to Fred Weber. However, what we hear from some of the haulers is the congestion in south county makes that drive difficult for us to make. So that's why I'm saying (county officials) need (companies) to demonstrate why they can't get there and meet their customers' needs."

Still, because all parts of the county are within a 15-mile radius of a trash-transfer station or a landfill, waste disposal is adequate for now. Beck suggests new waste-management studies be conducted every five years, which is why Campisi is considering a five-year moratorium on applications for transfer stations.

Ultimately, Beck's waste-management plan states that the County Council must decide whether more stations are needed.

"It can be concluded that on a capacity and service area basis, no additional transfer stations are necessary to manage the waste originating in the northern half of St. Louis County," the study states. "However, the majority of the southwestern quadrant and roughly 50 percent of the southeastern quadrant are not adequately served by the Allied Bridgeton, Allied City of St. Louis and Waste Man-agement City of St. Louis Transfer Sta-tions. Thus, it needs to be determined if the Fred Weber and Waste Management Mera-mec transfer stations can adequately serve these regions."

Beck's plan does not account for a new station that should open soon north of Inter-state 44, nor does it consider Allied accepting trash at a new transfer station in Bridge-ton. In the plan, Beck also suggests the county raise the $1,000 application fee for trash-transfer stations to somewhere be-tween $1,250 to $15,000 and for landfills to between $5,000 to $50,000. The county also should increase the $1,000 fines on landfills, haulers and trash-transfer stations that break the county's waste management code, the plan states.

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