Livingston residents say parish is denying them access to clean environment
By Donovan Jackson| January 15, 2019 at 7:11 PM CST – Updated January 15 at 7:11 PM
LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) – Livingston Parish residents reached out to WAFB’s 9News Alert Team to help them bring back recycling to their community. Muriel Laws says she has been attempting to get the parish council on board for months now.
“It hurts my heart to know that I have to hold this trash because I don’t want to throw it away in the trash,” said Laws.
The retired grandmother lives in Walker. She says she previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and understands the importance of recycling. She now has a petition to bring the service back to Livingston and has collected 500 signatures.
“In these 500 signatures, there are homes that have two, three, four, five children. Multiply this by 500 or more and this is sitting in a dump in a landfill,” said Laws.
She presented her petition to Livingston Parish council members, hoping to get recycling services put on the ballot. She says she did not gain the council’s interest, but she did gain the interest of others ready to join the fight.
“This is something that is necessary. We have to do what we can to eliminate this waste. Recycling is just one of the basic necessities. It shouldn’t even be up for questioning, we should just have it. It should just be part of our community,” said Robin Parrott.
Parrott says she has also wanted to have the recycling service back, so she was excited to join Laws after seeing her passion in the council meeting.
Shane Mack, Livingston Parish council chair, says the council’s biggest reservation is the how much it will cost the parish, however, he could not give an exact amount. Mack says they want to look at more options, especially one that’s currently being used.
“We recycle where I live. I live in the city limits of Denham Springs and we’ve been recycling for a while now. We need to provide that service to the rest of the parish. I think it’s important that the parish actually look at that,” said Lori Callias.
Callias says Denham Springs residents voted to pay for recycling themselves after losing the service. It’s an option the Livingston Parish council is considering. Mack says he will meet with Waste Management to see how much it will cost residents to provide the service.
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