ST. LOUIS — The You Paid For It team investigated a problematic alley in St. Louis, where city garbage trucks cannot pass due to severe damage. As a result, dumpsters typically located behind residents’ homes on the Northside have been moved a half block away.

For months, senior citizens like Fran Collier have had to walk this distance to dispose of their trash. Collier expressed her frustration, noting that the inconvenience leads to garbage accumulating in backyards, attracting rats and other rodents. “Who wants to keep piling garbage in their backyard instead of putting it in the dumpsters that have been provided?” she questioned.

Estell Hite, who initially contacted the You Paid For It team, shares this frustration. After repeated attempts to get help from city officials, she remains dismayed. “We’re trying to get our alley repaired. They came and took our dumpsters out; they set them on each end of the corner. We have all seniors on this block, and they have to walk almost a half-mile to empty their trash,” Hite explained.

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The issue began when a city-owned abandoned house collapsed, damaging the sewer system and causing part of the alley to collapse. This incident has left residents struggling with an inconvenient and unsanitary situation.

Residents say it’s been a mess for four years. The city has been shuffling around their dumpster for nearly six months, residents say.

Collier had enough, saying, “I sent a message to You Paid For It and I said I just paid my refuse bill but yet I don’t have anyplace to put my garbage. What sense does that make? It makes no sense, they need to do something now. I know when you get on them. They going to do something.”

I reached out to the Alderwoman of the ward, Sharon Tyus. She says she knew about the problem and has been trying to get something done for awhile now.

“I been working on this problem since April 2023, when I first became aware of it and I made that problem known to the city and to MSD. They looked at the problem and it seems like they are stuck between two divisions, where the city is saying its something MSD should do. MSD it’s saying something the city should do.

Today when you called me, I was actually getting ready to call the street director and say how do we resolved this because emails have not fixed it. They just say we’re working on it; we’re working on it. In the meantime, the people are getting very irritated as they should.”

MSD sent this statement:

“We sought an outside contractor with the equipment and expertise necessary for the repair. The contractor intends to start work next week.”

The Mayor’s Office had this to say:

“Currently, MSD is doing work in that alley , which is why it’s inaccessible right now. Once MSD is finished with that work, refuse will be able to get the trucks back in there”

MSD responded, saying there were problems with the laterals in the alley associated with the city owned house that collapsed. MSD further stated

“It will likely be the city of St Louis’ lateral repair program that addresses those. I cannot say with any certainty that the dumpsters can be moved back into the alley until those repairs are made as well.”

“We love our neighborhood, we want our dumpsters in our alley put back so we can walk out our back gate and put our trash in; we shouldn’t have to put it in our cars and take it to the corner,” said Estelle Hite.