SWeeDee finds new home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Staff Reporter

RESERVE – The heated controversy over the operating location of the company that services St. John Parish’s garbage disposal needs is finally over, and it is a happy ending on all sides.

Solid Waste Disposal Company (SWeeDee), Louisiana’s largest independent solid waste collection company, finalized their move from a residential location along Central Avenue, to a more suitable industrial spot on Power Boulevard back in May of this year. The move keeps the company operating within the confines of the parish, and also steers them away from residential locations.

“We got exactly what we wanted with this move,” said St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe. “SWeeDee is going to continue to service our needs for the next five years, and it is great to keep them within the parish. They have been good neighbors to us.”

Roddie Matherne, general manager for SWeeDee, said the new location has come with improved facilities and more room for operation.

“It has really worked out great for us so far,” said Matherne. “We are in a better place in the parish, and we are no longer neighbors with residents.”

Matherne said the new location, which was acquired from Ace Trucking and Repair, includes a large building that can accommodate the company’s trucks when they are in need of maintenance.

“It was a great move for us, and for the parish,” said Matherne. “It has worked out better than we had ever expected.”

Matherne said SWeeDee’s operations have been completely cleared from the Central Avenue spot, and that there is no sign that they had ever been there. Parish officials say it is still unclear what will become of SWeeDee’s former home. Boe said it is up to the landowner to decide what to do.

The heated debate over the location of SWeeDee’s operations has raged among parish citizens for nearly two years. In March 2007, SWeeDee 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 continued 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.