ST. LOUIS — With so much talk about trash around the city, we wanted to separate fact from fiction about why it's taking so long to get the problem solved.
We told you earlier this month how the city's trash truck fleet is aging. At any time, nearly half the trucks are out of service for repairs.
But 5 On Your Side learned the problem is more complicated than that.
To get some answers we spoke at length with 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer. And we emailed our questions to a spokesperson for Mayor Lyda Krewson.
With so many trucks out of service at one time, we wanted to know what's being done to keep them running.
Alderwoman Spencer told us the city doesn't have enough mechanics. We were able to verify the city is down a number of mechanics. Mayor Krewson’s spokesperson says outside contractors are being hired for the jobs and there are 12-16 people working on the trucks on any given day.
The bigger problem, we're told, is getting parts for the older trucks. Many of which are 20 years old.
Many people have suggested the city plans to outsource its trash service. According to the mayor's office that's false. We're told the city wants to address the problem with its own resources.
While it's true each alderman has a capital improvement fund to spend in their ward, both Spencer and the mayor's office say it's false that the aldermen can spend it on services like hiring outside companies to help with trash pickup.
Finally, Spencer says the city's fleet needs to be replaced. And the mayor's office agrees.
We're told three new trucks should arrive by the end of August, six more by October and six more by the end of the year.
According to the mayor's office, trash will continuously be picked up on time around mid-August.