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Garbage costs go up this month in East Baton Rouge

1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, March 01 2023 Mar 1, 2023 March 01, 2023 9:24 PM March 01, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The new City-Parish garbage, recycling, and trash contracts go into effect March 1. Starting this month, East Baton Rouge Parish customers will start seeing an increase in garbage fees on their water bills.

The new residential fees will be $35.23 per household, up from $23 a month. Republic Services twice a week garbage fee is $16.53 and once-a-week recycling is $6, while out-of-cart collection with Richards Disposal will cost $7.50 a month. According to the contracts, those fees will go up by 4% each March. The contracts are for a seven-year period with options to renew for one or more years, not exceeding three years at a time.

Initially, the parish was pitching once-a-week garbage collection to keep costs down, but ultimately the Metro Council passed a measure in December to keep the twice-a-week collection.

Richard Waller lives in Old Jefferson and is concerned the increase in cost won't mean better service. He says he experiences delays and missed pickups. Most recently, his garbage collection was missed on Monday.

"I call 311 and they know me by name," Waller said.

This last time, the garbage collection was missed in his entire neighborhood. This month, he'll start paying more money for that same service he calls 311 about.

"Nothing we can do about it except call 311," he said.

Waller is on a fixed income and says the increase will affect him a great deal.

"By the time their 10-year contract is up we're going to have to stop using water because we can't afford it," he said.

Seven years from now, the new fee could be around $43 a month give or take depending on the additional fees associated with the base price.

To hold Republic Services accountable, the parish says it keeps track of those missed collection calls to 311.

"We want to make sure that the public gets the service that they're paying for," said Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford.

Raiford says there will be fines associated with non-collections if the situation isn't rectified within a certain time window. There will also be new trucks hitting the streets with cameras. Those trucks will cut down on hydraulic fluid concerns and debris that finds its way onto the streets. It's something that bothers Waller.

"There's garbage when they dump it they'll miss some of it and it'll land on the street they leave it there and they drive off."

The parish says the price increase and the two-day service collection are consistent with surrounding parishes. In June, Raiford says recycling will go from six days a week to five. There will be public meetings regarding this change so customers will know their new collection day for recycling.

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