NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Sidney Torres IV believes someone from a rival trash company was dumping garbage into his bins based on video and photographic evidence.
An attorney issued a cease-and-desist letter to the city regarding the dumping, allegedly done by an employee of Ramelli Waste.
"Empire Services has reviewed the footage provided by IV Waste and their representatives and insist that at no point did Empire Services instruct any of its personnel or sub-contractors to participate in this type of behavior and find it extremely disappointing," said Charlie Lusco, owner and president of Empire Services. "Empire Services sub-contracts the trash collection portion of its French Quarter contract to local vendor, Ramelli Waste. I believe the videos reflect the actions of an apathetic Ramelli Waste employee rather than a conspiracy against any particular company or individual."
Bob Ramelli, the owner of Ramelli Waste, told FOX 8: "A mistake was made by one of my employees and that employee has been terminated. It won't happen again."
Lusco went on to say that he and Torres have always had a "positive working relationship." He said it was an isolated event and the employee has been dealt with.
Torres said that's not true.
"It wasn't just one night. It was multiple nights with different individuals, so it's not just one employee," Torres said. It's multiple employees, so that's concerning to me because it's like, I could understand one mistake, but four times? Four different days?"
The city is working with Empire Services to investigate the incident. They said necessary corrective actions will be taken if needed, according to a spokesperson with the mayor's office.
And while Ramelli told FOX 8 that the garbage being dumped in the cans was worth pennies, Torres said that's also false. He said just the waste - without the labor, equipment and other costs - can add up to between $4 and $5 a can at the landfill that charges waste companies based on how much they dump.
Torres said IV Waste picks up more than 900 cans in the French Quarter.
"I don't want the city contract, but I do want what's fair for the businesses and the community, and they are supposed to be paying for their own waste, and they shouldn't be putting it off on my customer," he said.