HOUMA, LA (WVUE) - They live in the Lisa Park area of Houma, on Highland Drive near Peaceful Avenue. However, several homeowners say the area hasn't lived up to the street name.
"It's a pretty loud, violent shaking of the windows and the walls of the house, and it wakes the whole house up," homeowner Mike Thompson said. "Maybe for only 10 minutes loud, but it's still 10 minutes twice a week, every week," homeowner David Davis explained.
Residents say the intense noise came from the Chateau Creole apartment complex, adjacent to their neighborhood. Every time the trash truck pulled up to empty the complex's dumpsters, residents say they heard it loud and clear.
Their main concern was the time of day it was happening. "Before the sun comes up, you're gonna hear dumpsters being cleaned out and slammed," Davis said. According to Thompson, "It's usually between the hours of 4:30 to 5, 5:30 in the morning."
For Thompson, the noise was even more deafening because just a few feet separates his backyard from one of the dumpsters.
"I've talked to the company's (Pelican Waste and Debris) general manager - Roddy I believe is his name - and he assures me he's gonna talk with them and at least get them to do it later on, and that maybe lasts for a day when it does," explained Davis. He also shared an email complaint with us that he sent to Terrebonne Parish Government. "My parish councilwoman got a hold of me, and she tried to make calls and tried to talk to the company," Davis said.
When he still couldn't get action, Davis called the FOX 8 Defenders. We learned the parish code addresses garbage pick-up procedures and times as it relates to parish provided services, meaning, collection of Terrebonne Parish residential cans for example cannot commence before 5 a.m. The parish says the ordinance does not regulate procedures for private contracts, as in the case of the complex's agreement with Pelican Waste and Debris. A Pelican representative told me by phone the company would work to adjust the pickup routes to accommodate nearby homeowners.
But noise isn't the only concern. Thompson says he's picking up dumpster trash on his property on a regular basis. "I've had mattresses. I've had pipes. I've had garbage bags. I've had loose garbage, you name it," he said. While the apartment owner has added fencing around the dumpsters to try to contain the trash, Thompson would like to see the dumpsters moved, to the front of the property.
That won't happen according to Chateau Creole owner Damon Baldone. "They're (dumpsters) strategically placed where older and you know disabled people don't have to walk you know 100 yards to the dumpster in the cold and in the rain," Baldone said. "I'm the largest residential real estate owner in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish, and I think I'm an extremely good neighbor when neighbors have a complaint or an issue I will do my best to address it," he said.
According to Baldone, an employee walks the property, picking up excess trash, but he says they too have a problem with people who are not residents using their dumpsters.
Two weeks after the FOX 8 Defenders got involved, neighbors saw progress. David Davis sent us an email, thanking us. 'Not once last week was there the sound of smashing dumpsters happening before dawn/ 7 a.m. This is what I was trying to do for over a year,' Davis wrote.
The FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women also field consumer complaints at 1-877-670-6397 or you can fill out an online complaint form.