Cost of solid waste services going up

The cost of everything is up these days, solid waste services included.

Luckily the residents of Bienville Parish turned out on election day on April 29 and passed the renewal of a 1% sales and use tax that will remain in place until June 30, 2034. Proceeds raised from this tax will be used specifically for the continuation of providing collection and disposal of solid waste which includes the payment of contracts for this provision.

Republic Services is the contracted company providing this service in Beinville Parish currently. The Bienville Parish Police Jury signed a new contract with Republic and the cost for those services just went up approxiametely 49 percent from their previous agreement. They were the only company to bid on the job, leaving the police jury with no other option.

According to Kevin Bloxham with Republic Services, this increase is due to inflation; the cost they have to pay for gas, repairs, maintenance, workers and insurance.

The lack of workers and high insurance rates are forcing Republic Services to convert from their usual rear-loading trucks to side-loaders. These side-loaders will lessen the amount of workers needed and the risk of injury because the driver will be able to control a mechanical arm from inside the truck that grabs the trash or recycling bin and dumps it into the truck.

Perhaps the only difference this would mean for residents is the way they position their cans for pick-up, but it would definitely mean more money added onto future contracts to balance the cost of these new trucks. Bloxham does not think that will happen for another 6-7 years since the rear-loaders that service Bienville Parish at this time were just purchased about 3 years ago and are still considered fairly new.

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