Parish weighs recycling options

Perry Guillory unloaded bags of plastic bottles and a trunk full of cardboard during Saturday’s Recycling Road Show.

Guillory, of Prairieville, said he stops by the recycling event each month and is glad Ascension Parish government offers the free drop-off service.

“It works for me,” he said as volunteers assisted him with tossing the materials into the Progressive Waste truck collecting the items for recycling.

Guillory said that while some of his neighbors pay $10 a month for curbside recycling, he would rather save that money and drive a few miles to the event.

Donna Schultz, who lives in the Pelican Point subdivision, said she would rather have curbside collection, but wasn’t sure how much she would be willing to pay for the service.

Later this year, Guillory, Schultz and other parish residents may have other options for recycling, parish Public Information Officer Lester Kenyon said.

The Ascension Parish Council is expected to take a look later this quarter at proposals that would result in providing a franchise agreement to garbage service companies by ordinance, Kenyon said.

Thomas “Moose” Pearce, chief executive assistant to the parish president, is working on drafting proposals for consideration by the parish council, Kenyon said.

The franchise agreements could be issued to companies meeting a set of criteria agreed upon by the council or the council could decide to accept proposals from garbage service companies, Kenyon said.

The council’s strategic planning committee will take up the issue in February, Kenyon said.

Currently, residents living in the unincorporated areas of the parish select their own garbage collection company. Until recently, companies operating in the parish did not offer curbside recycling.

Kenyon said that while the details of the parish’s contracts with one or more companies have not been finalized “recycling is definitely part of it,” he said.

Ann Shaneyfelt, a volunteer with the parish’s Recycling Road Show, said the parish recently renewed its contract for the monthly collection event with Progressive Waste. She said the Road Show provides residents interested in recycling with a drop-off point that stays the same each month.

The Road Show has been at the Wal-Mart store in Prairieville for several years. The program originated in partnership with Ascension Parish pubic schools. In the beginning, the Road Show would move from school to school, with children learning about recycling.

The Road Show, Kenyon said, depends on volunteers to assist residents unload their items.

Longtime volunteer Ron Doofe said he’s glad the parish offers the program and doesn’t mind helping out.

The Road Show is not the only recycling program offered by the parish, Kenyon said.

Residents can drop off recyclable items at containers located at the parish public works building on Churchpoint Road in Gonzales. That center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Both programs accept newspapers, magazines, scrap paper, metal, cardboard and No. 1 through No. 7 plastics.

Plastic bags, glass, household garbage, woody waste, building materials, electronics, paint, batteries, soiled paper or chemicals are not accepted, Kenyon said.

The parish is hosting a Christmas tree recycling program Saturday and Sunday at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

Trees can be dropped off each day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center, 9039 St. Landry Road, Gonzales.

Parish officials said trees must not have any decorations or stands on them. Parish residents are required to provide valid identification showing proof of residency.

After entering the expo center’s main gate, signs will direct residents to a roped-off drop-off zone in the parking lot in front of Arena D.

For more information about the Christmas Tree Recycle drop-off or any recycling program call (225) 621-5753.