WILDWOOD, Mo. – Trash woes have now hit one of St. Louis’s top suburbs. It’s not an issue of too much garbage in Wildwood; it’s too many garbage cans stacking up in people’s driveways, yards, or garages, along with skyrocketing garbage fees.

New garbage service means new cans have been issued before the old ones have been taken away. There’s the sheer number of cans, plus the size of the new containers: a 96-gallon can for trash and a 64-gallon can for recycling.

People are putting four, five, or even six barrels out in their driveways after the city arranged new trash service. The former provider, Waste Connections, pulled out with the expiration of its contract.

“I think at one time there were probably at least over 100 trash cans in the subdivision waiting for the old provider to come pick them up,” resident Steve Ash said. “So, it’s been a dilemma.”

The old bins have signs on them with messages like, “Take cans, please.” The old containers won’t work with the new provider’s trucks. Residents are posting photos of the old containers on social media in an effort to give them away.

Those 96-gallon containers can swallow a typical yard waste barrel or even a typical push mower. People can exchange the big ones for smaller ones. Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin says the new providers will also take away the old cans, but it’s going to take a few weeks.

Two companies will now provide garbage service. Gateway Disposal will serve about 2,500 homes in the rural areas of Wildwood. Republic Service will handle about 8,700 homes in the more urban neighborhoods. $17 monthly fees are nearly doubling – or worse: jumping to $32 for Republic Service customers and $43 for Gateway Disposal customers.

“Everything’s going up, that’s for sure; but three times the price is quite a bit,” Ash said.

“What we in Wildwood and all of west (St. Louis) county are dealing with is the result of $2 trillion being put into the economy,” Bowlin said. “When you put that much money into the economy, everything, as we have seen across the board, has been going up.”

The new providers preferred to split service to be more cost-effective, with their own truck and disposal costs nearly tripling, the mayor said.

Residents should contact Republic Services at 636-947-5959 or Gateway Disposal at 314-900-2070 to exchange a large trash can for a smaller one and to schedule pickup of the old Waste Connections containers.