Pointe Coupee residents could see trash fee hike

The Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury learned Tuesday that rates for residential trash collection may have to be increased if it wants its waste hauling vendor to take over responsibility for maintaining trash containers.

Jurors decided two weeks ago to enter into a new contract with Progressive Waste Solutions for residential trash collection but details of the agreement are still being worked out.

Parish Administrator Jimmy Bello told jurors Progressive officials said they would charge the parish 75 cents per household monthly to provide service and maintenance for residential trash cans as part of the company’s new five-year contract with the Police Jury.

The parish provides residents with trash cans and maintenance services.

When the Police Jury agreed to enter into the new contract with Progressive on May 14, they asked the company’s representative to present the parish with cost estimates as well concerning container maintenance for the parish’s nearly 10,000 customers because it had become too costly for the jury.

Bello told jurors he’d like to see the parish get out of the trash container business but did not like the 75 cent per household quote. He said the company “anticipates there will be more maintenance on the carts because they’re so old.”

Bello said if the jury decides to take Progressive’s offer, it would probably have to pass the cost increase on to residents.

If that happens, the monthly fee for residential trash pick-up would jump from $18.50 to $19.25, he said.

Jury President Melanie Bueche frowned upon the 75 cents proposal as well and opted instead to put the burden back onto residents to buy their own garbage cans for trash pick-up.

“They need to be programmed into knowing when their cans are (damaged) they need to get another,” Bueche said. “It’s just like with an automobile … when they break you can’t call the Police Jury. They have to take that responsibility.”

Juror John Pourciau noted that if the parish was going to make residents responsible for their own trash cans the parish would also need to ensure Progressive’s crews exercise better care when dumping the cans during garbage routes.

Pourciau said he has seen residential cans damaged and sometimes mistakenly dropped into the back of Progressive’s automated garbage trucks during trash routes.

“They are gonna have to have the responsibility not to tear these cans up,” Pourciau said.

The parish has yet to officially sign its contract with Progressive.

Bello told jurors he expects the company to formally submit the contract to the parish in a couple weeks.