Success of recycling bins brings back curbside discussion
By Jonathan Menard - Mar 22, 2012
Due to the success of the recycling bin program in St. Charles, two council members say itís time to re-open discussions on curbside recycling.
The recycling bin program began in March 2011 with 10 bins that are picked up weekly. Because of increased participation in some areas, mainly Luling and Destrehan, there are now 15 bins. In fact, the program has been so successful that some residents have complained that the bins are often too full.
"I have been very frustrated after loading up my vehicle with recyclables to only find all of the recycling bins full," Michelle Seemann, of Luling, said. "I understand that the cost of curbside recycling is an issue for some residents and that is why the council decided not to bring back curbside recycling.
"Well I think the time has come to reevaluate the situation."
Councilmen Larry Cochran and Dennis Nuss agree. Both men held town hall meetings in December 2010 to see if residents wanted curbside recycling included in a new garbage contract. The contract eventually went to SDT Waste and Debris Services (now Progressive Waste Solutions) at $9.74 a month for only garbage collection. If recyclables were included, residents would have paid $3.49 more per month.
"I know people want recycling to pay for itself, but thatís hard," Cochran said. "I think if you break down what you are taking out of the landfill though, itís a wash. Iím all for recycling.
"Itís time for us to open up dialog on how, when are where we can do it. We need to start planning ahead for our childrenís future."
Councilman Dennis Nuss agreed, saying that he knows his constituents are dedicated to recycling.
"I have believed for some time that most people are in favor of curbside recycling, especially in my district," Nuss said. "The use of the bins certainly illustrates an increasing interest in recycling, but still not everyone is able to participate and make the kind of impact that a curbside program would have.
"I do intend to restart the discussion on curbside recycling with the new council later this year."
Parish spokeswoman Renee Simpson said that there are currently no plans to add recycling drop-off bins, but depending on the usage in certain areas over the next few months, the parish is considering increasing the number of pickups per week.
"We find that we have more calls about full bins around holidays and we continue to have recreation crew members monitor all sites on a regular basis to make sure any overflow is taken care of," she said. "We feel as if (increasing pickups) is a better solution to increased use than setting out more bins in the parish."
Simpson said that the parish is glad to see to the program being used by so many residents, and that they believe the bins are the most feasible and economical way to provide recycling service to the public.
"We continue to encourage residents to voice their opinion about this issue," she said.
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