SWDI confirms new site

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2008

St. John garbage hauler moving from Highway 51


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Representatives from Solid Waste Disposal Company (SWDI) have confirmed with St. John Parish officials that they have found a new location for their proposed garbage storage facility, but questions remain as to where.

St. John Parish Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said incoming administration members were made aware of SWDI’s decision at transition meetings held in January, but since negotiations regarding the sale of the land had not been finalized, parish officials were not told where the new site would be.

“All I can say is that the location is moving from Central Avenue in Reserve,” said Boe. “I do know that SWDI representatives have assured us they will not be moving to their originally proposed site on Highway 51, that much is certain.”

SWDI General Manager Roddie Matherne declined to return repeated phone calls regarding comment on the move.

In March 2007, SWDI announced plans to relocate their facility from Central Avenue to industrially zoned property on Highway 51 that was leased from

Land Glo and purchased from the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The proposal spawned heated debate from residents concerned that the garbage facility would be too close to residential areas, and lower property values by bringing unwanted noise and smells to their community.

The dispute raged for months, and several alternate sites were proposed, but an adequate deal could not be finalized. The issue has been a staple of the Parish Council agenda for almost a year.

SWDI had even proposed moving out of St. John Parish, something that the administration did not want to see happen.

“They have been good corporate citizens of the parish, and we would like to keep it that way,” said Division B Councilman-at-large Steve Lee. “I have been impressed with them as a trash hauler for St. John.”

Boe said SWDI recently signed a deal to continue working in St. John for the next five years, and the parish would like them to keep their operations in house.

“We want them to be a good neighbor, and I think they want the same,” said Boe.

Boe said negotiations regarding securing the land should be complete by the end of the month, at which point SWDI would probably go public with the location. Boe said SWDI assured the parish that the new location would not require re-zoning of land.