BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — On Wednesday, the East Baton Rouge Metro Council voted to keep garbage collection pickup at twice a week, but this will cost people $12.50 more monthly.

The current monthly fee is $23 a month.

The council also has the option to cut down services to once a week and the fee would go up a little over $5. Councilman Aaron Moak voted to keep twice-a-week pickups with a higher cost. He says it’s more logical to keep the same services—especially if people are paying $7 for an extra bin.

“I think we worked out a good deal,” said Moak. “Right now, any cost increase is a hard thing to take but the benefits of what we saw tonight with the numbers and everything, I think it works out for a good bit for the consumers overall.”

“Trash sitting in my backyard for over a week, this was just a no brainer, that’s not gonna happen, said Charles Thomas, resident.

Charles Thomas represents his homeowner’s association. He says residents are fine with paying more as long as garbage pickups don’t go down to once a week.

“If you want to have safe living conditions, you don’t want to deal with rodents. You’re going to pay for it,” he said. “There’s nothing cheap in this world and we understand that, but, the main thing, we do not want to have to pay more for less.”

Councilman Cleve Dunn Jr. and Chauna Banks did not vote. Dunn says he understands Republic has to increase prices because of inflation, but, he’s unhappy with numbers negotiated by city officials.

“I think we can make a better effort at getting a win-win for the citizens of East Baton Rouge than what’s being presented,” said Dunn.

In January, the council will vote again if they want to consider a once-a-week pick-up at a lower rate.

The new contract begins in March. The rate will then continue to go up by four percent annually.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome shared the following statement.

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.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, East Baton Rouge Parish