SHREVEPORT, La -- Mayor Adrian Perkins' administration is ready to restart curbside recycling with a surprising startup company.
A proposal will be introduced at the Shreveport City Council on Tuesday to award the contract to a company with no experience at curbside waste pickup. That's C. Edwards Concepts, which is run by Charlette Edwards of Shreveport. Her company bills itself as a public health and development consultant.
City Council Chairman James Flurry, who was part of a four-person committee that unanimously chose Edwards, says she was the only one of four applicants to propose curbside pickup.
"So this is the only option that we have right now. And we're willing to try," Flurry said. "It may very well fail. But then again, if it does not fail and succeeds, it'll be a great success story."
Flurry says Edwards was also the only minority applicant, which the committee also scored in her favor.
If the council approves, Edwards would get a five-year initial contract, worth $1.9 million dollars annually.
The committee picked Edwards for the job of rounding up all the city's recyclables every two weeks, even though her application with the State of Louisiana listed a 2013 Lexus SUV as a vehicle to transport recyclables. We found that Lexus parked at Edwards' home in the MLK area.
The phone number listed for C. Edwards Concepts was not working. But we found Edwards working in her office on Line Avenue. She declined to talk on camera about her plans, saying she wanted to wait until after the council vote. That'll happen at the next meeting on July 13.
She did say that she is in the process of acquiring waste hauling vehicles.
"We're going to have to be prepared to be patient for her to get up," Flurry cautioned. "It make take her 90 days to get up full with her equipment. She's got to get her people trained, and get CDL drivers. They're very hard to get right now."
The Perkins administration declined to interview for this story. Its spokeswoman also said they'll wait until after the council vote.
Flurry says Edwards plans to haul Shreveport's recyclables to Kilgore, Texas because that's the nearest recycler that'll take it. He says there's little market value for recyclables. But he says the city is striving to keep from filling up its landfill space.
Curbside recycling would again be paid for with a $2.50 monthly charge on water bills.