The City Council granted Laidlaw Waste Services Inc. a rate increase of 34 cents per month per resident for trash pickup - raising residents' monthly bills to $5.36.

The decision follows several months of discussion. Laidlaw requested the increase because of higher insurance, fuel, labor and employee benefits costs.The City Council had expressed concern over the rate difference between American Fork and Pleasant Grove - Pleasant Grove's costs were already 34 cents higher - but finally decided the increase is necessary.

The council will negotiate a new five-year contract with Laidlaw in a year. In the meantime, council members told a Laidlaw representative that they hope there will be no further rate-increase requests.