Prior to 1981, solid waste disposal had open dumps and was unregulated. In November 1981 the Ashland Sanitary Landfill opened and started receiving waste as the first publicly owned permitted landfill in Louisiana. The site was permitted for municipal solid waste and commercial waste, regulated by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's Solid Waste Division.
The 126 acres Ashland site designed for 10 years of service closed July 31, 1999 well past its designed life with an estimated closure cost of 3 to 4 million dollars. The landfill had a design capacity of 1,588,774 tons averaged 80 scale trucks for 440 tons of solid waste per day.
Revenues for Ashland landfill are from an 11 mil Ad Valorem Tax which yields $3,300,000, user fees ($10.00 per household) of $1,200,000, and scale charges ($42.00 per ton) $3,600,000 for an annual income of $6,100,000.
Annual operation and maintenance cost for 1999 were $1,300,000 for the landfill site, collection contract to pickup waste from residential customers were $3,600,000 and the operation of pickup stations at $300,000 for a total of $5,200,000.
The EPA/DEQ requires an existing landfill to have a certified operator on site at all times, semi-annual groundwater monitoring, storm water permit, daily cover on disposal area, and daily litter control.
EPA/DEQ Subtitle D requires existing landfills to upgrade the monitoring well system, install a leachate collection and treatment system, install Methane gas collection and venting system, and monitor all commercial trucks for hazardous waste. Ashland Landfill had spent approximately $1,000,000 on Subtitle D requirements through the end of 1999.
With the closure of the Ashland landfill, waste is currently handled through the 500 ton per day capacity Ashland Solid Waste Pickup Station. The station is a 50 feet high precast concrete structure with a wind load design of 115 mph. The construction and engineering cost of the building is $2,115,333 and was completed in 127 days.
Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government has a 5 year private hauling contract of $1,000,000 per year with an additional fee of $8.95 per ton. Waste is deposited in the station and hauled away by the private contractor to River Birch, Inc located in Jefferson Parish. TPCG has a 5 year waste disposal contract with River Birch facility for $26.50 per ton for a total cost of disposal $32.40 per ton.
Other responsibilities under Environmental Services include the Animal Shelter which impounded 7,120 animals in 1999 and operates with an annual budget of $130,000. Additionally sanitation services are provided for Mardi Gras and parish sponsored events.