New contracts promise more efficient but still once-a-week trash pickup in New Orleans

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Erratic garbage service and stinky debris piling up on New Orleans’ curbs could soon become a thing of the past. City officials announced Thursday (Oct. 27) that they are spending $6 million on two new contracts to deliver what some say will be a new level of garbage service for the city.

For the past year, trash pick-up has been one of New Orleanians’ biggest complaints. In the days and weeks immediately following Hurricane Ida, trash pick-up was nonexistent, leading to piles of garbage and debris littering neighborhood streets. In October 2021, the city called for a temporary reduction to once-a-week pickup.

“I got beat up a little bit and residents made requests,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Two weeks after one of the city’s trash contractors, Metro Disposal, filed for bankruptcy, the city announced it is hiring two new trash contractors.

IV Waste will provide trash service for thousands of residents west of the Industrial Canal in areas like Gentilly and Lakeview. Waste Pro will take over the areas east of the canal, including the Lower 9th Ward.

“We put together a response to give white-glove service,” said Jesse Murphy with Waste Pro.

Amid assurances of improved service was a promise of a new level of technology to make sure that trash service is provided in a more reliable way than many have seen.

“We monitor GPS, we look at every truck. Until they light it up, they don’t come back to the base,” said Sidney Torres, with IV Waste.

IV Waste is set for taking over Area 2 West, which includes the Ninth Ward and New Orleans East...
IV Waste is set for taking over Area 2 West, which includes the Ninth Ward and New Orleans East after a vote today.(Fox 8)

The new contract will provide once-a-week service at an additional cost of $6 million a year to the city. Mayor Cantrell says a return to twice-a-week pickup service may be explored later.

“No longer will residence worry about trash being collected or mess left behind,” said Matt Torri, Sanitation Director for the City of New Orleans.

The city also says that recycling will be returning to the city and residents should be getting notices soon.

The city still has a contract with Metro Services and has filed a motion with bankruptcy court to end that contract.

Metro Services released the following statement:

The City’s ceremonial signing of additional sanitation contracts has no bearing on Metro Service Group which will continue to honor its obligations under its current contract. Metro’s contract remains in force and Metro trucks and personnel will be on the job and on the streets in fulfillment of its contract.

City residents should be aware that the newly minted agreements will pay these contractors over $8 million more than Metro has been receiving under its contract.

And, for context, residents should not forget that through periods of exceedingly high collection volumes from Hurricane Ida and Covid-19 the City failed to increase compensation for minority-owned Metro and Richards Disposal by even one penny, yet now, with volumes stabilized, the City has miraculously managed to find millions more dollars to fund these new contracts with other companies.