Drastic changes coming in parish’s recycling program

Recycling bins covered in discarded construction debris, furniture and even refrigerators on a regular basis brought on major changes in St. Charles Parish’s recycling program.

Fines for illegal dumping, curbside recycling being considered

Citing illegal dumping and use of considerable resources, St. Charles Parish is doing a massive rehaul of its recycling dumpster program, as well as reconsidering curbside recycling.

Parish Contract Monitor Chandra Sampey told the council that the parish’s 19 recycling sites were being abused with items like furniture and large appliances to the point they will shut down 17 of them.

“People are just abusing the system is why we need the changes,” Sampey told the council at Monday’s meeting.

Sampey displayed photographs of some of them, where items were overflowing from dumpsters and larger items were piled around them in late night dumping. The problem worsened after holidays, and residents living near some sites started complaining and asked the dumpsters be removed.

“We just shut down the St. Rose site because their dumping was completely out of the ordinary,” she said. “The people are trying, but we have some who are committing recycling abuse.”

After hearing about the success of Terrebonne Parish’s 12-year-old program, Sampey said they went there to see the program and based on their findings they came up with a plan for St. Charles Parish.

They determined the public preferred safe, clean and well-lit locations so they are upgrading the East and West  bank parks with a 25-yard-long dumpster at each specially designed to limit items to recyclables, Sampey said. They will be better lit and surveillance cameras will be placed at the parks.

She estimated the cost to update the sites at $100,000 with a Jan. 1 start date.

Sampey said the move will be accompanied by a public awareness campaign aimed at educating the public on recycling and changes with the parish’s recycling program.

Councilwoman Julia Fisher-Perrier asked if the program could be adapted as needs arose, which Sampey replied was doable.

Pelican Waste currently handles the trash service with a Mississippi company handling the recyclables, she added.

[pullquote]“People are just abusing the system is why we need changes.” – Chandra Sampey[/pullquote]

Council Chairman Dick Gibbs asked if the parish had penalties for illegal dumping at the recycling sites. Sampey said not now, but they are reviewing new rules that would apply after the surveillance cameras are installed at both parks.

Gibbs also inquired about curbside recycling, which Sampey said they will revisit by surveying residents on whether they want the service.

Parish Public Works Director Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux said past participation in the parish’s earlier program had been as low as 25 percent of the parish population, which lent to its end. However, he said public interest may be renewed in recycling, particularly plastics.



  1. I have lived in 3 different states and several different cities and I was shocked at the lack of recycling here. I’ve used the recycling dumpsters and they are a disgusting. I’m glad they are improving them. But ultimately I wish there was curbside recycling. I think more people would be willing to participate. Curbside recycling PLEASE!!!!!

  2. Perhaps if the parish would publish current large trash pickup things would be better. Perhaps education cameras and fines would help. Perhaps response to filled containers would help.

  3. Curbside recycling needs to return again. More people would participate if it was weekly home pickup service. Most people don’t want to store recyclables and then haul them to another location. This would also eliminate the recycling abuse.

  4. I am an avid recycler and I have also been frustrated with the abuse of the system. However, I personally do not believe going back to curbside bins is the answer. And sadly I don’t have a good alternative.

    I believe the reasons why we should recycle is to expand the life span of our waste dump sites, reduce the carbon foot print on the environment and also conserve natural resources.

    Although I have done no research, it’s seems to me going back to curb side is not efficient. I think of the amount of emissions from diesel trucks sweeping the neighborhoods does not bode well for reducing our carbon footprint.

    The people who choose to dump their crawfish waste at the recycling bens because the do not want the smell at their house will just find another place to dump their waste as well as those who dump mattresses and appliances.

    It’s unfortunate because if you put your discarded appliances at your curbside there are people who pick them up quickly for the metal scrap.

    It’s unfortunate because having a central location is the most efficient way to recycle.

    And I believe those who abuse it will not likely participate in curb
    Side recycling anyway.

    The end game must be to conserve natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint.

  5. Please reinstate curbside recycling!

    By the time my 4-year-old is 30, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

    Who else would love to see a community initiative where our schools are teaching the importance of sustainable living, recycling, and practical ways that each of us can care for our environment?

    One thing is for sure, the solution is not closing 17 out of the 19 recycling centers. C’Mon St. Charles Parish! Let’s do better!

  6. Weekly curbside pickup would be fantastic! But education is key!! For example, people should NOT put recyclables in plastic bags (I often saw that people bagged up their stuff in the dumpsters). Plastic bags are terrible for recycling sorting equipment—cause jams and even breakage. That, or workers have to manually open them (adds man hours and $$$).

    Plus, people need to wash out their plastics—food containers, soap bottles, drink containers, etc. Otherwise, it can contaminate everything else. For the sake of brevity, here is a link with some great info: https://tucson.com/news/local/a-guide-to-what-you-can-and-can-t-recycle/collection_a25e4546-c6a4-11e8-944a-4fb717460d01.html#1 (it really depends on our recycling contractor; I’m sure they have a version of this).

    I also get the above point about curbside trucks adding to our carbon footprint. 🙁 It’s a catch 22! That’s one reason I think daily is way too much.

    If the parish pursues this, I’m happy to be a part of a [volunteer] research team.

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