Hot Garbage, a closer look

Photo by St. Paul Public Works

We were geared up to offer you some stunning Election Day insights but with not a ton going on over on this side of the river, we decided to look east.

In case you're not up to speed on the biggest ballot item in St. Paul, here's your headline: It's trash. As in, a big to-do about the future of garbage collection in our capital city.

Below are five articles that [dumpster] dive into the details. The essential story is around the question of whether or not St. Paul should (like many cities including Minneapolis) centralize trash collection rather than letting residents choose their own providers.

  1. St. Paul's epic fight over trash collection, explained (MinnPost): This is a great article to start your garbage-knowledge-gathering. It's not just Tuesday that marks a milestone in the discussion: garbage has been a hot topic for years now, including a trip to the MN State Supreme Court.

  2. Court: St. Paul must pay haulers even if voters reject trash system (Star Tribune): About that MN State Supreme Court case...there's a lot going on in this debate and one detail to know is that, like in many elections, Tuesday's outcome won't necessarily clarify everything going forward. As summarized in the Strib: 'The Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling sets the stage for a stark choice for St. Paul residents Nov. 5: Keep the current system of paying quarterly bills for garbage collection, or pay for it through a hefty hike in property taxes.'

  3. Money in garbage: Who's funding each side of the St. Paul trash vote (MinnPost) If you're into such things as understanding who the actors are behind the scenes, this article nicely lays out the support and funding for each side of the garbage fight.

  4. With trash on the ballot, early voting in St. Paul triples (Pioneer Press): There's an obvious joke in here somewhere, but guess what happens when you put garbage on the ballot? It turns people out to the polls! Motivation comes in many forms.

  5. St. Paul garbage vote: Debate centers on how to get a better contract (MPR): The good news/bad news is that there's a lot of agreement that things are a mess. As MPR sums it up: 'Residents who battled the City Council for a vote, and those who advocate to keep the new system all said there’s room for improvement in the contract St. Paul has with its current trash haulers. They disagreed on how to get a better deal.'

Our best to St. Paul on Tuesday's vote. If this article has made you wonder what's on your ballot, check out the Secretary of State's website. Not every Minnesotan has something to vote on this Election Day (a real bummer for all of us who truly enjoy acting our civic duties), but you can always check with the SOS to see what and who is on your ballot.

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