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Recycling program in Vermilion Parish suspended

Posted at 11:18 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 19:39:56-05

ABBEVILLE — You won't be able to recycle in Vermilion Parish.

On Thursday, the police jury announced the suspension of the parishwide recycling program, effective January 1, 2020. The suspension, according to the police jury, is due to changes in the recycling industry beyond their control.

"These changes have caused the cost of recycling programs to greatly increase and has reduced the number of recyclers willing to take recyclables. As a result, the program has become unsustainable," they said.

Chuck Sonnier owns Magdalen Place in Abbeville.

The venue plays host to a variety of events, and they go through a lot of glass products.

"Say if you're a huge wedding reception, we may have five cases of wine bottles that we have to do something with," explained Sonnier. "Of course, at this point, all we can do is throw them away."

Now, all the glass bottles and cardboard boxes the venue accumulates end up in the parish's landfill.

"I do have someone who picks up my big wine bottles because it takes too much room in my trash cans, but, of course, he picks those up and brings them to the dump," said Sonnier.

The recyclables used to be picked up to be transferred to a company in Lafayette.

"We found out that they were either contaminated and they were returned, or they ended up in the landfill because the company couldn't find a place to accept the recyclables they had," explained Charlene Beckett, Director of Keep Abbeville Beautiful.

Beckett says there's a shelf life to the landfill.

"The landfill can only last so many years. So, if you're recycling, that is eliminating so much waste that would normally go into the landfill. In the long run, it saves the parish money, it saves the state money. It's really a win-win for everybody," saves Beckett.

The police jury says they will continue to monitor the availability and cost of the recycling market and thanks to all who participated in the program.