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Plan to recycle Katrina debris falls through

United States – With post-Katrina demolition work on-going, TransLoad America Inc.’€™s Chief Executive David Stoller had devised a plan to recycle the hurricane debris at its New Orleans sorting facility. But local firm Highway 90 Landfill objected to the project, resulting in court hearings and the ultimate demise of the recycling proposal.

By diverting the materials from torn-down houses into recycling at TransLoad’€™s Gentilly facility, up to 2000 tons a day could have been removed from the region’€™s waste stream, according to Mr Stoller. And New Orleans’€™ city council agreed, voting through the project unanimously.

But Highway 90 Landfill, the region’€™s most prominent landfill player, drove the matter to the courts, claiming that the recycling plans would lead to the loss of US$ 10 million in annual tipping fees. It was also contended that the crushing of concrete could have sent dust airborne into local neighbourhoods.

Mr Stoller claims to have already invested US$ 2 million in the project and is still refusing to draw a line under it. He states: ‘€˜What we were going to bring – and never say never – would have been a tremendous contribution to the city, which still does not have a recycling centre. It really was a tragedy that we were shut down.’€™

Beverly Wright, Director of Dillard University’€™s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, also regrets that the project got cancelled at the last minute, saying that opponents ‘€˜created such a divisive climate’€™ that they simply couldn’€™t ‘€˜get it off the ground’€™. She adds: ‘€˜People had different motives in this, but nobody had the community’€™s interest at heart.’€™

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Source: The Times-Picayune

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