Courtesy trash pickup Saturday collected garbage from apartment after 2 On Your Side report
BATON ROUGE - Landlords and apartment building owners will now be responsible for the disposal of bulky items put at the curb by their tenants. The City-Parish says it's not going to do it anymore.
Monday afternoon (8/12), 2 On Your Side learned that Republic Services, the company contracted by the parish for garbage collection, will no longer collect bulky items at apartment buildings. Republic Services has been picking up large items like mattresses and couches at apartment buildings for years but won't be doing it again.
It's left large piles of unwanted furniture around East Baton Rouge Parish. The calls started coming into 2 On Your Side about two weeks ago. Residents and a property manager in the Tigerland area and along Burbank Drive reported the large piles next to dumpsters.
"You can pretty much go down every street in Tigerland and you'll see something like this," said Mary Apffel. "It's kind of sad and demoralizing actually."
Apffel, who's lived in Tigerland since 2008 says she started noticing the large piles about a month ago. It's why she called the City-Parish's 311 call center to report what she saw and was given a work order. That work order hasn't done her any good, because the items are still there.
The city-parish says it recently stopped providing free bulky trash collection for apartment complexes. It was something it only did occasionally and was never part of Republic Services contract for residential garbage collection. The City-Parish says it must provide bulky trash collection service to residential customers and this free service to apartment complexes was taking away limited resources for that service.
Peggy Anderson manages Embassy Apartments on Gourrier Avenue in Baton Rouge and says she started calling the City-Parish about bulk garbage collection in June. She was also given a work order and told it would be picked up. Monday, that debris is still in the parking lot next to the dumpsters.
"I thought that's what I was paying for," said Anderson. "And I'm familiar with the complex and it's been picked up for over 50 years so I don't understand this."
She's not alone, as the piles are growing at buildings around her.
"It doesn't help Baton Rouge, I don't know what they're thinking," said Anderson.
Over the years of paying the bills, Anderson says her complex pays more than $1,000 a month for garbage collection and the bulky items would be collected about three times a year. Now they'll have to take on additional costs to take care of the bulky debris.
"I was told I need to get a private service," she said.
The City-Parish says it has ordinances concerning public health and public nuisances when it comes to businesses leaving bulky trash on the side of the road. It says apartment complexes and businesses must contract with trash collectors to remove those items or potentially could face penalties.
Saturday, a few days after the original story, Republic Services collected the trash seen around the Tigerland complex - but only as a one-time courtesy. The city-parish reminded building owners the service is not offered, and apartments should organize individual trash collection.