After a major fire yesterday afternoon at its Lafayette facility, the Recycling Foundation of Acadiana says there will be no delays in the citywide curbside recycling program. "We're out collecting today," says Stephen Cheatham, a co-owner of the Baton Rouge-based company. "There will be no interruption in service at all. We were finished with our routes yesterday before the fire started and so none of yesterday's route was affected at all and our trucks are back on the road this morning." The company's local bailing facilities are now down to a power outage, but Cheetham expects to have that back up and running this week. In the meantime, the company will ship recyclables directly to Baton Rouge, where they are processed. It was the bails of co-mingled recyclables that caught fire yesterday. The cause of the fire is still unknown and being investigated by the fire department.
The Lafayette Fire Department got the call for the fire at 1:21 p.m. yesterday. Firefighters continued working to contain the smoldering embers through the night and into today. Thirteen city fire trucks responded, about 95 percent of the on-duty force, as well as backup units from Carencro, Youngsville and Scott. "The Fire Department truly did an outstanding job," Cheetham says. "It was a wonderfully coordinated effort. From a property damage and safety standpoint, they just made all of the difference in the world." The Recycling Foundation escaped with minimal losses, and no damage
to its property or equipment. "Once the smoke cleared, honestly, we were very blessed," Cheetham says. "It could have been a lot more severe than it turned out to be. Now we have a bit of a cleanup project, but other than that, everything went well."
In other recycling news, Lafayette Consolidated Government announced yesterday, shortly before the fire, that it was closing its two recycling drop-off sites located at Lafayette Fire Stations. Fire Station #5 at 2001 Johnston St, and Fire Station #11 at 1115 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy will no longer taking recycling materials due to residents leaving a proliferation of non-recyclable material on the ground at the drop-offs. Residents can still drop off household recyclables - paper, aluminum, glass and plastic - at the Recycling Foundation at 107 I-G Lane in Lafayette.