Councilman wants new garbage site, no new fees

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The St. John Parish Council is considering the possibility of a new dumpsite to be used for parish residents, removing the need for the current site located behind the Percy Hebert Building.

The council held a Solid Waste committee meeting Tuesday to mull over alternatives to a proposed $1 hike in the cost of trash pickup. Parish President Nickie Monica and Chief Administrative Officer Natalie Robottom proposed the increase at the Aug. 15 Finance Committee meeting.

The parish currently has dumpsters set up behind the council building, off of Airline Highway, that residents are allowed use of the site to dump waste that isn’t picked up by SWDI as part of their contract with the parish. That site is costing the parish $93,000 a year to maintain that is not covered by residential waste fees.

The council was concerned with the large amount of dumping that takes place at the current site, speculating that contractors and out of parish residents are leaving much of the debris illegally.

Council Chairman Sean Roussel said he’s received many complaints about residents from other parishes and contractors dumping at the site, something that came as no surprise to him.

&#8220We’re doing a poor job of keeping other parishes from dumping here,” Roussel said. &#8220I figured this would happen and unfortunately I was right and now we have to fix it.”

Robottom said they have begun keeping the names of people that are dumping at the site behind the council building to reduce the amount of people using the site multiple times per week, but the parish is still fronting the cost for those dumpsters.

Roussel is proposing St. John Parish to form a contract with a disposal or landfill company, such as BFI or River Birch Inc., and have an isolated dumpsite set up on a few acres of land, much like the one found in St. James Parish. He said the company contracted to set up the dumpsite would also likely be responsible for maintaining it and hauling debris to the River Birch landfill.

&#8220My suggestion is we impose a $5 flat dumping fee, whether it’s one piece of wood or an entire house full of junk,” Roussel said. &#8220We’re spending $93,000 a year on the dumpsters, and I think we can really save that money.”