BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Thursday night, a community meeting was held at BREC’s Ben Burge Community Center to discuss the upcoming garage charges.

On March 1st, the city-parish entered a new contract for garbage, trash, and recycling collection services.

The new contract includes several policy changes for out-of-cart collections. These changes will be effective September 1st.

  • A max of 10 out-of-cart items will be collected per day, and the maximum weight for each item is 40 pounds.
  • Tree limbs must be no more than 6 inches in diameter and 5 feet in length.
  • Brush and lawn debris must be bundled or bagged and no more than 5 feet in length.

Beginning Sept. 1, residents with extra garbage carts will be charged $7 per month, per cart. The charge will be included in the household’s monthly solid waste, sewer, and water bill.

Several residents and landlords expressed their concerns at Thursday night’s meeting. The general manager of Republic Services declined to comment at the meeting.

David Swindell is a landlord who owns a unit in Bayou Fountain and he says that he’s tired of the city-parish management of garbage pick up.

“We’re just going to pay more and not get any better service or worse service,” says Swindell.

According to Swindle, he’s sent dozens of emails and several photos of the amount of trash and blight in his area.

“It will look like this year round, just piles of trash in comparison, Republic refused to pick it up,” says Swindell.

According to Swindell, the response from the city was, “They said they don’t pick up this type of trash, but Swindle says, “they do in other neighborhoods.”

During Wednesday night’s metro council meeting, Councilman Gaudet expressed his concerns. Gaudet said he was one of the no votes for the contract. He was at Thursday’s meeting to hear from residents and landlords in his district. Gaudet said, “We’re just tried of it and let’s just pay Republic to pick it up.”

He said, “What you saw from me and asking why aren’t we doing more to pick up is the frustration that I get from the residents in saying, why do we have to live in a place where people are illegal dumping?”

Since March, residents have seen an increase of $12.20 in their monthly garbage bill. One resident, Kareen Lee, says she for paying the extra fee if the job gets done to clean up her neighborhood. She says the company will be providing more trucks to speed up the process and make it safer.

“It increases the visibility so that law enforcement as they make their patrols, they can get a much better view of the surrounding area,” said Lee.

If you have questions about the updated policies for out-of-cart items, click here or call 389-4865.