Police Juror Mark Sistrunk, a member of the Solid Waste Committee along with Floyd Tomboli and Isaac Gray, spoke with the Enterprise on Wednesday about the status of trash collection in the parish now that a portion of the trash trucks have resumed collection.

"As of today [Wednesday], all of the city of Bastrop has been picked up," Sistrunk said. "All of Mer Rouge has been picked up. We are now on the Wednesday route, but it will be running a little late."

Sistrunk explained that the workers at solid waste are working around the clock and taking only enough downtime to stay in compliance with the DOT. He also praised Jimmy Turner, the route manager/supervisor, for his efforts during the crises.

According to Sistrunk, the Morehouse Parish Police Jury got into the garbage business not because waste management was doing a bad job, but because waste management's services could no longer be afforded. This left the jury with three choices: to increase sales tax, to stop picking up garbage and let residents have the half-cent tax back or to have the jury operate collection.

On Wednesday, the Solid Waste Committee met and interviewed five potential candidates for the new position of operations manager.

The manager's job would be to oversee the solid waste department and office, and the new hire would work toward ensuring a similar situation does not occur in the future.

Candidates were informed that a proactive approach needs to be developed in the future instead of a reactive one. Going forward the committee, the new operations manager and the route manager/supervisor will work together to try to avoid a repeat of the current trash collection situation.

"[We need to] get together to come up with forms and plans to implement to keep this from happening again," Tomboli said.

Now that all five applicants have been interviewed, the Solid Waste Committee will review each candidate's information and qualifications before making a final hiring decision