SWDI finds new location

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Staff Reporter

RESERVE – St. John Parish officials announced Monday that the company that services the parish’s garbage disposal needs is officially moving out of its residentially zoned area, and into a more industrially suitable location in the parish.

Buddy Boe, public information officer for St. John Parish, said management from Solid Waste Disposal Company (SWDI) informed Parish President Bill Hubbard by phone Friday that the company has secured ownership of property along Power Boulevard in Reserve for a new garbage disposal facility. Boe said Hubbard quickly moved to notify the St. John Council of SWDI’s decision, and the news was well received.

“This is great news for the people of Reserve,” said District II Councilman Danny Millet, who represents the area that SWDI currently occupies. “I thank SWDI for being a good neighbor and making the move a reality.”

Boe said that Hubbard was extremely happy that SWDI was able to find another location within the parish to conduct their operations. Like Millet, Hubbard said the company has been a good neighbor in the past, and the parish has worked hard to keep them in St. John.

Monday’s announcement comes four months after SWDI told the parish they found a new location for their garbage facility, which is currently located on Central Avenue in Reserve among an assortment of homes and small businesses. SWDI officials said the lengthy delay could be attributed to the long process of securing a large real estate deal of this kind.

The heated debate over the location of SWDI’s operations has raged among parish citizens for nearly two years. 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.

This proposal spawned heated debate from residents concerned that the garbage facility would be too close to residential areas. Residents complained to the St. John Council that the move would lower property values by bringing unwanted noise and smells to their community.

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

Boe said SWDI recently signed a deal to continue working in St. John for the next five years, and the parish is extremely pleased to keep them in house.

Boe said the move, which is already in motion, is anticipated to take up to three weeks to be final. Boe said the parish does not know what will become of the land SWDI currently occupies, and said it is up to the landowner to decide what to do once SWDI has vacated.