While some fans of the St. Louis Rams are having some trouble with the team’s anemic play, Charles Bryson is having trouble with some Rams fans. Actually, Charles, who is the director of public safety, has been fielding complaints this season about the mess being left downtown by tailgaters.
Tailgating, sometimes elaborate picnics that mix unequal parts of asphalt, beverages and barbecue before sporting events, is something of a tradition on the privately operated parking lots around the Edwards Jones Dome and America’s Center. I think the practice adds liveliness and color to home game days, and I generally approve of it. The residual trash on some of the lots, however, is an eyesore, a nuisance, and a municipal expense as it blows down City streets and sidewalks — sometimes for several days afterward.
So, Charles has sent a letter this week to the owners of the private lots downtown (who, after all, are making money from the tailgaters) that the City Code and City Ordinances require that “owners, operators, or people in charge” provide labeled trash containers on their lots — and that they are further required to empty the containers at least once a week. The letter is Charles’ way of being nice. The subsequent stricter enforce of the law will be Charles being thorough.
Football tailgaters and their parking lot hosts are not the only downtown litterers, and certainly not the only City litterers. They are just the ones who caught Charles’ attention this time. There also seems to be a bumper crop of stray plastic bags blowing around the City these days. So, for the record, the requirement to provide and empty trash containers applies to all non-residential premises.