Richard LeBouef, executive director of the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Commission, talks about moving from twice-weekly garbage collection in municipalities to once-a-week pickup at the St. Landry Parish Council Public Works Committee on Wednesday. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)
Twice weekly garbage collection may end for St. Landry's municipal residents
Twice-weekly residential garbage collection in St. Landry Parish’s municipalities may revert to once-a-week by the end of the year.
Richard LeBouef, executive director of the Solid Waste Commission, presented the proposed change to the St. Landry Parish Council’s Public Works Committee on Wednesday.
“I’m on a fact-finding mission,” he said.
Since the parish voters approved an 0.8 percent sales tax to pay for a solid waste collection and disposal system in the parish, municipal residents have received twice-a-week collection.
Residents in unincorporated areas are on a once-a-week collection schedule.
LeBouef said the Solid Waste Commission is tightening its budget as a reason for the change.
The commission decided to lease rather than buy equipment, he said as an example of one area of cost-savings.
“A city house doesn’t generate more trash than a country house,” he said.
There are 19,000 rural stops and 16,000 municipal stops, he said.
In the twice-weekly collections the second collection is used by about 45 to 50 percent of the residents. Of those using the second pickup, the 96-gallon garbage cans are about 15 to 20 percent full, he said.
LeBouef pledged to gather opinions about the change in each municipality. Town hall meetings may also be held.
When the tax was advertised, it was said there would be twice-weekly pickup in the municipalities, he said. But there was no pledge for the twice-weekly collection in the tax proposal, he said.
Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot he had been informed about the proposal.
“As a citizen speaking it will take some time to adjust. I can tell you that,” he said.
In Acadia Parish, there is a once-a-week collection scheduled throughout the parish, he said.
“As the mayor speaking I look at it in a way where it can benefit the city because you’ll have less litter on the streets I believe because you’ll have less trash pickup,” he said.
When trash collection changed from workers picking up garbage cans to a grappler grabbing the cans, city Board meetings have occasionally included complaints about the amount of debris that lands on streets in the process.
The cans are flipped upside and the trash sometimes blows away from the garbage truck.
City crews spend almost three days a week picking up litter, he said.
Fontenot said the once-a-week schedule would reduce the pounding the streets suffer from the garbage trucks.
LeBouef said the plan includes sending more resources to the parish to pickup larger trash that doesn’t fit in the garbage cans.
Fontenot said that would be a benefit to the city.