The Jefferson Parish Council is expected to extend its landfill management contract with River Birch LLC through 2037, part of a sweeping new arrangement that would allow the contractor to merge day-to-day operations at the parish landfill with its privately owned dump in nearby Waggaman. A parish official said the arrangement would save the parish at least $1.4 million annually. At the same time. a council member said, it gets the parish out of the landfill business.

Under the agreement River Birch would keep only one landfill open at a time, enabling it to cut down on staffing expenses. River Birch would also cover the costs of constructing new gas wells at the parish landfill, though the parish would continue to receive royalties from the gas that’s collected. And River Birch would assume responsibility for any future regulatory violations.

“It’s a unique situation,” parish Public Works Director Mark Drewes said, adding that it’s rare for a government-owned landfill to be located so close to a privately owned dump. The council is expected to adopt the agreement. “There are more pros than cons,” said Parish Council member Scott Walker. “It gets the parish out of the landfill operation business. … It makes financial sense.”

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Author: Blake Paterson,
Image: Matthew Hinton,