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Debris trucks causing extra stink in quiet community

1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago September 01, 2016 Sep 1, 2016 Thursday, September 01 2016 September 01, 2016 9:14 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Residents in north Baton Rouge are just about fed up with the debris clean-up. Residents along New Rafe Mayor Road say their once quiet community has gotten noisy and smelly and a nearby landfill is to blame.

The city-parish says it's picked up about 200,000 cubic yards of debris and a lot of that has been taken to Ronaldson Field Landfill, also on New Rafe Mayor Road.

Lately, truck after truck filled with debris has passed through the community on the way to the landfill.

"We've been plagued by odors, we've been plagued by traffic," said Sharon Batieste.

Batieste and her husband have lived in the community off Highway 61 for 47 years. Once the clean-up started, she said the trucks began taking her street as a shortcut to Baker and the landfill.

To put a stop to it, Batieste says she's called the governor, the city-parish and the Attorney General's Office. Wednesday a "road closed" sign was placed at the entrance of her community and another near the landfill entrance. WBRZ watched a number of debris trucks drive right around that road closed sign Thursday.

"We cannot go through but the trucks can go around it," said Batieste.

Northwest of Ronaldson Field is an open hole in the ground. It's a controversial industrial waste landfill owned by Louisiana Land Acquisitions.

Owner Gordon Barr says if it were to open, it would speed up the debris pick-up process and take it away from Batieste's neighborhood.

"I would think we could take almost everything, by the areas we want to service here," said Barr.

That could include debris from the Baker, Zachary and Central areas. Barr says the landfill could hold about eight million cubic yards of debris.

There is an application before the Department of Environmental Quality to open the landfill but right now, DEQ says it's not considering opening up any more landfills.

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