After years of deferred vehicle replacements, the City of St. Louis is facing a shortage of refuse trucks. Although the refuse fleet includes 84 trucks, only 40 to 45 are fit to hit the road on an average day, and as a result the city is struggling to cover its 55 daily trash routes, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The average age of the city’s refuse trucks is 10 years old, with the oldest trucks reaching 18 years, reports the Post-Dispatch.
Last year the city increased its monthly trash fees, and half of the revenue was used to purchase 13 new trucks. A 10-year plan proposed to the city would call for 76 new trucks.
Cara Spencer, an alderman for the city, posted a photo of an overflowing dumpster on Facebook, calling attention to the need for fleet funding.
“We need to make room in our annual City budget for basic equipment [maintenance]. A decade of deferred [maintenance] does not smell good,” the post read. “Unfortunately we can only do so much with so much of our fleet inoperable.”