Metro Council approves garbage pickup proposal, price increases

The EBR Parish Metro Council voted on Wednesday, Dec. 14, to approve Republic Services’ proposal to continue picking up garbage twice a week.
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 4:03 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 10:54 PM CST

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council voted on Wednesday, Dec. 14, to approve Republic Services’ proposal to continue picking up garbage twice a week, but with a price increase.

Homeowners currently pay $23 a month to have their garbage picked up twice a week.

The council voted 8-to-2 on an amended contract that will require homeowners to pay around $35 a month, but at the same twice-a-week rate.

“The benefits of what we saw tonight with the numbers and everything, I think it works out for all the consumers overall,” Councilman Aaron Moak said.

The proposal included an alternative option that would have made homeowners pay $26 a month to have their garbage picked up only once a week. That alternative was met with a wave of opposition from residents.

“Once a week would be devastating, and I mean devastating,” Charles Thomas said.

Councilman Daryl Hurst was also against the once-a-week option.

“If I have a crawfish boil on Saturday night, and my trash does not get picked up until next Friday, somebody made a joke about throwing it in a dumpster. So, now we’re encouraging illegal dumping? That’s not what we’re going to do as a city councilman, as police officers, or anybody else. We’re not going to encourage crime because we don’t want to go two days a week,” Hurst said.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome issued a statement after the meeting:

“I congratulate the Metropolitan Council for arriving at a compromise to continue providing twice per week garbage services to the citizens of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. This compromise comes on the heels of continued negotiations between my office and the contract awardees to find a solution that is palatable. This is the most utilized public service in our community and I thank council members for their due diligence on behalf of our residents. This is a stellar example of the executive and legislative branches working to perfect policy for the people. The new contract begins in March 2023 with service improvements. I support the council’s decision to maintain twice a week collections. The increased cost is never desired but understood in the current economic environment. I look forward to building on the services that we provide to the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish.”

However, Moak says this is not the end.

He says the council has until January to either negotiate a better deal, or possibly reconsider the once-a-week option.

“We can still adjust. We’re not locked in right now. They still have to come before us. We can amend it and move forward,” Moak said.

People that spoke out tonight say they just want to get the most out of their money.

“We understand if you want to have clean neighborhoods, safe living conditions, you don’t want to have rodents and mice running through your neighborhoods, that you have to pay for it. It’s nothing in this world cheap and we understand that, but the main thing is we don’t want to have to pay more for less,” Thomas said.

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