St. Paul DFL committee endorses citywide trash plan ahead of November city council elections, referendum

With all seven City Council seats up for grabs this November along with the trash collection referendum, the St. Paul DFL Central Committee voted Monday to endorse “Vote Yes” in support of coordinated garbage collection.

In a release, the DFL announced 87 percent of the 34 members in attendance at its Monday meeting voted to endorse “Vote Yes.” 

The endorsement comes almost exactly one year after the law went into effect Oct. 1, 2018. The referendum vote on the trash plan will take place this November after a judge ruled the coordinated garbage collection system was unlawfully put into effect by the City Council. The plan had some residents frustrated before it took effect and the Minnesota Supreme Court even took up the matter earlier this year. The court battle could cost the city an estimated $13 million, too, according to a city estimate. 

The DFL members cited various reasons to support the coordinated system, which is currently still in place citywide. In the release, the DFL said the coordinated trash collection system had a positive effect on the environment.

“If our city is truly focused on leading the fight against climate change, we need to holistically examine everything we do,” said Sami Banat, a member of the central committee. “Coordinated collection means fewer trucks on our roads and less air pollution; that’s why we voted yes for citywide garbage.”

Javier Marillo, the chair of the Vote Yes for Saint Paul campaign, said the endorsement from the DFL shows that residents are in favor of the coordinated trash collection system.

The Central Committee’s endorsement comes ahead of the St. Paul City Council elections this fall, where the trash collection system is expected to be among the most pressing issues for voters.

The terms for all seven City Councilors expire at the end of this year. Election Day is Nov. 5.