JEANERETTE — A trash problem so bad that a member of the audience described it as worse than a hurricane was solved Monday night, the Jeanerette Board of Aldermen hopes, after the board voted to contract with Waste Connections to take care of bulk waste for local residents.
The board voted to adopt increased garbage rates for town residents as a way of meeting rising expenses that have to do with bulk waste pickup.
Fiscal administrator David Greer proposed a new garbage rate of $16.50 per household, a $3.15 increase, as the new monthly rate.
Dustin Foretenberry, a representative of Waste Connections, was present at the meeting to answer any questions from the board and audience about the new pickup system.
Before the new agreement, Jeanerette Public Works was handling bulk waste pickup. Greer argued at last month’s meeting that the cost of the department handling it was too much for the Jeanerette government to handle.
Fortenberry said bulk waste pickup will be every two weeks, although the exact day of the pickup is yet to be determined. Waste Connections is still evaluating the area and will advertise the exact day, he said.
Fortenberry added that the garbage company will accept debris and household items to pick up, but will not be taking hazardous materials.
“We won’t take anything that will be a fire hazard,” Fortenberry said. “Someone asked if we’ll take push lawn mowers, we do but they need to be drained of fuel for example.”
Some concerns from audience members included the number of garbage trucks that would be used for the town and whether the board should postpone the decision until July so that the incoming mayor and board of aldermen can make the decision.
“We’ve got four people on this council who will not be here come July 1, why not table this until the new council comes in?” one audience member asked.
The board voted unanimously for the ordinance.