Piles of garbage overwhelm residents and workers

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Frustration is boiling over as trash piles up in New Orleans.

“It’s starting to stink out here, so somebody needs to do something about it,” says Tyrone Tillman.

In New Orleans East, on Bundy Road, garbage is everywhere. Tyrone Tillman says it hasn’t been picked up in more than two weeks.

Now, heavy downpours from Tropical Storm Nicholas are making an even bigger mess.

“Something needs to be done about it,” says Tillman.

City leaders say a third of all households across New Orleans have seen no garbage pickup since Ida, but they’re asking residents to remain patient.

Entergy Louisiana said Tuesday (Sept. 14) it has restored power to 90 percent of customers...
Entergy Louisiana said Tuesday (Sept. 14) it has restored power to 90 percent of customers statewide, 16 days after Hurricane Ida.(Entergy Louisiana)

“No, patience done ran out. Patience ran out for me,” says Paula Williams.

“This is a capacity issue and not a money issue,” says City of New Orleans Spokesman, Beau Tidwell.

The city says problems with the sanitation companies pre-storm only got worse.

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“Labor conditions in that industry going into this pre-storm, we were having difficulties. Those conditions were only exacerbated by the storm, so we are now dealing with three times the amount of work with about 25% capacity,” says Beau Tidwell.

“There’s nowhere to put the trash anywhere,” says Paula Williams.

As garbage cans fill up, residents are placing trash bags alongside them, but those will likely be picked up when a garbage truck makes it to your block.

“The reason we put messaging out about putting your most nasty stuff in the cart is because that is the thing we can get now,” says Deputy CEO Ramsey Green.

“We’re not going to be able to pick up 10, 20 bags at every house along with the cart every time we go, otherwise, we’re never going to get neighborhood to neighborhood,” says Sanitation Dir. Matt Torri.

More: Storm-ravaged residents in Destrehan worried about rain Nicholas could bring

The head of infrastructure, Green says the amount of garbage is overwhelming, forcing the garbage haulers to make more trips to the landfill.

“Our trucks, normally it’s five blocks before they have to go to the landfill. They’re doing it now after one block,” says Green.

The city is working to secure supplemental contractors now to do the work.

“We’re bringing in additional contractors to pick up the slack,” says Green.

Still, city leaders say there’s no quick fix to the problem.

More: Storm victims in Lafourche and Terrebonne still without basic necessities two weeks later

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