VACHERIE — The St. James Parish Council discussed starting a drop-off recycling program, but stopped short of signing any contracts with a solid waste disposal company while it looks further into the matter.
Councilman Elwyn Bocz, who had asked representatives from IESI LA Corp., a subsidiary of Progressive Waste Solutions LTD, to speak to the council during its Wednesday meeting, said he felt the council’s biggest concern about a drop-off recycling program would be people dumping garbage in the containers.
“They’re afraid they’re going to become mini-dumps,” Bocz said. “People are going to put crawfish heads in there, any number of things.”
Steven Cheatham, a division manager at the Recycling Foundation, which IESI acquired last month, said he has seen success with drop-off recycling programs when they are located on church or commercial sites because people are less likely to dump garbage on church property or business sites.
But when recycling drop-off sites are located on public properties controlled by government, residents are more likely to think government employees would pick up any garbage left there, he said.
The parish has no curbside recycling program or a drop-off recycling site, Bocz said.
According to IESI’s proposal, the parish would be charged $225 per container per month and be held to a three-year contract.
The parish would be charged $450 each time recycled goods are hauled to the recycling facility, and containers would cost the parish $9,650 each.
Councilman Ken Brass asked if any costs would be passed along to the public if the parish entered into the contract and Parish President Dale Hymel Jr. said they would not.
IESI accepts plastic, paper, steel and aluminum, but not glass at its drop-off sites, Cheatham said. The recyclable items would not have to be separated, he added.
Hymel said he supported the idea but wanted to know where the bins would be located.
The contract proposal states one container would be placed at the Old St. James landfill facility in Vacherie and another container at the transfer station in Gramercy.
Bocz said he thought two recycling bins could be placed at two public parks on each side of the Mississippi River, but officials expressed concern again that the drop-off bins would attract garbage.