Council will vote on garbage proposal at next meeting

But some members want recycling input before making decision

December 10, 2010 at 9:05 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

While some council members want to gauge the public’s interest in recycling before awarding a new garbage contract, others want to go ahead and award the contract without including the green option.

Council members Marcus Lambert, Carolyn Schexnaydre, Paul Hogan and Terry Authement are sponsoring an ordinance that will award the parish’s garbage contract to SDT Waste & Debris Services.

Parish President V.J. St. Pierre has also sponsored the ordinance, which will be voted on at the Dec. 20 meeting.

Currently, parish residents pay $11.99 a month for garbage pickup with IESI, whose contract expires at the end of February. SDT’s proposal, which was the lowest received for garbage collection, would charge parish residents $9.74 per month.

Though SDT turned in the lowest garbage-hauling proposal, IESI has the lowest proposal when curbside recycling and new carts are included in the deal at $13.54 per month.

At Monday’s meeting, Councilman Dennis Nuss  made a motion to remove SDT’s contract ordinance from the Dec. 20 meeting. He said that the council had decided to use a rating system to select the parish’s waste hauler and that just picking the lowest proposal goes back on that.

Nuss’ motion failed 3-6, with Nuss and Councilmen Larry Cochran and Shelley Tastet voting to remove the ordinance from the Dec. 20 agenda.

Nuss said that surveys have shown that residents are interested in adding recycling. This week, Nuss and Cochran each sponsored town hall meetings to get residents’ input on whether or not to include recycling in the contract.

The meetings were well attended and a majority of those who spoke at the West Bank meeting wanted recycling brought back to the parish.

Most said that paying for the service now would make sure that future generations don’t pay for it later. Those against recycling said that any additional cost would be too much given the state of the economy.

Destrehan resident Marilyn Richoux served on the original recycling committee when the service was put in place in St. Charles and said the program’s return is much-needed.

“I hope everyone across America will take a major interest in recycling and it would speak well of St. Charles Parish to put a responsible and affordable program in place,” she said. “Recycling is vital and we need to be on board in some capacity.

“This is an issue that will not go away and will negatively affect all unless addressed. I sincerely hope that recycling can be resumed in St Charles Parish.”  

But the ordinance that will be voted on at the Dec. 20 meeting says that a contract with SDT would save residents $2.25 per month. SDT has also agreed to guarantee its price for curbside recycling, which would increase  monthly costs to $13.71, until next March in case the parish decides to add the option later.

Hogan said that a garbage contract should be awarded first and that a recycling option shouldn’t be rushed into.

“SDT’s price is too good to pass up,” he said.

Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnaydre agreed.

“Our whole goal with this is to lower the price, not raise it,” she said. “If we add recycling, we’re increasing the price. The majority of people I have talked to don’t want recycling.”

Schexnaydre said that there are two recycling companies that offer curbside service in the parish - Phoenix Recycling and Pelican Recycle - and that residents can use those companies if they want to recycle. Both companies offer plans that start at around $10 per month.

“A lot of people don’t want recycling, but if it’s included in the new contract they would have to pay for it,” Schexnaydre said. “It makes sense that those who want to recycle can use one of the recycling companies, and everyone who doesn’t want it will pay a lower price for their garbage pickup.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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