A local waste management company finally celebrated when it picked up and moved to Houma last year.
Pelican Waste & Debris held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with representatives from the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce to celebrate its still relatively new location in Houma. The waste management company moved its corporate office from Larose to its current location right off of La. Hwy 311 in the summer of 2016.
The move is a function of continued expansion for the company that first started picking up trash in October 2013. According to part-owner and operating manager Roddie Matherne, the company started with two garbage trucks and about 200 business dumpsters. These days, along with adding residential services in places like St. Mary, St. Bernard and soon St. Charles parishes, Pelican has more than 30 trucks, around 1,000 business dumpsters and hundreds of “roll-off” dumpsters used by construction companies. Matherne said the move to Houma gave them easier access to La. Hwy. 90, a major artery for garbage trucks to travel to Pelican’s clients.
“Us doing all of St. Mary and fixing to do St. Charles and doing St. Bernard, it was easier to Hwy. 90 from here,” Matherne said.
Pelican has also turned its glance westward, as the company has picked up commercial work in the Lafayette area. Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Carlos said the expansion is good news at a time when many local businesses are feeling the snag of the local economic downturn.
“We’re always happy to hear about the companies here in Terrebonne Parish, many of them are trying to hold on right now, that they haven’t had to close their doors like unfortunately some have. It’s good to hear that Pelican here is expanding. That is awesome news,” Carlos said.
Matherne has been in the waste business since 1983, starting with what was then Sweedee (now Progressive Waste) before branching out to start his own business in Pelican. He said in the competitive market of waste collection, an important factor in Pelican’s success has been its understanding of local markets contributing to its ability to provide good service.
“We’re local, we know about the community, we care about the community. We got to walk in these stores and hear these complaints. You don’t want to have your company doing bad then walk in the store and hear about it,” Matherne said.
Carlos said while Pelican only recently moved its corporate offices to Terrebonne, it has been a chamber member for a few years due to its work with businesses in the parish. Carlos said business growth and expansion anywhere in the Bayou Region of Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary and Assumption is good for the entire community.
“We are stronger together and we work better when we work together. To say that they started out in Lafourche Parish, that’s great,” Carlos said. “Wherever you start, you start in this region and expand to other parishes, it’s good for everybody.”