City of Kirkwood Streamlines Costs and Improves Services for Residents

Client Profile: Public Services Department, Solid Waste Division – City of Kirkwood, MO



The City of Kirkwood is always looking for ways to streamline costs and improve services for residents. SCS Engineers was commissioned to complete an alternatives analysis (Master Plan) to assist the City’s decision makers as they dealt with various challenges related to their Solid Waste Program, including providing cost-effective solid waste services and future management options.

SCS Engineers’ Pro-forma Rate Modeling enabled changes to Kirkwood’s solid waste collection and recycling programs and informed decisions on possible rate scenarios.


Efficiency in operations allowed the City to provide residential waste, curbside recycling, and yard wastes removal at a monthly customer rate of only $17.06 (since 2005). At the outset of the study, the City expressed an interest in evaluating six future solid waste options and programs to improve overall efficiency and estimate the future residential household fee necessary to cover the costs of these programs. SCS evaluated the advantages and disadvantages associated with the following six programs or services: automated residential solid waste collection; elimination of commercial solid waste collection; improved recycling and transfer station operations; recycling incentives; route optimization and advanced electronics; incentive pay for employees; and construction and demolition debris hauling.

Outcomes and Benefits

Solid Waste Planning Roadmap – The Master Plan evaluated the capital and operating costs for these new or enhanced programs in terms of overall customer rates. This enabled City decision makers to compare the costs of these programs against possible user fees increases.

City Council Approval of Rate Increase – The last customer rate increase was approved in 2005; with increases in labor, fuel, disposal, and fleet replacement, the City was drawing from dwindling reserves. A Pro Forma Rate Model enabled the City Council to understand the impact of a new rate increase, which has been implemented.

Awarded State Grant – At the conclusion of the study, SCS helped the City apply for a state grant to improve the efficiency of their recycling and transfer station operations. The Master Plan provided the justification for the grant award.

“I would highly recommend SCS to other municipal solid waste programs because of their knowledge of the industry and their ability to provide the hard facts of operational deficiency in a positive, hopeful perspective.” William Bensing, City of Kirkwood Director of Public Services

Additional Resources:

SCS Services Delivered:

  • Solid Waste Master Planning
  • Studies of automated residential solid waste collection;
  • Elimination of commercial solid waste collection;
  • Improved recycling and transfer station operations;
  • Recycling incentives;
  • Route optimization and advanced electronics;
  • Incentive pay for employees;
  • Construction and demolition debris hauling.