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Emergency Trash Haulers Will Begin Cleaning Up New Orleans Streets

Ryan Nelsen
Trash, vegetal debris and storm damage waits to be picked up on Tchoupitoulas Street, on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.

Dozens of extra garbage trucks and other heavy vehicles — dump trucks, pressure washers, sweepers — will begin hitting the streets of New Orleans from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the next several weeks until every city street has been cleared of trash and debris, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Thursday afternoon. 

Cantrell said the city’s inked emergency deals with four local and national garbage hauling companies to end the “trash crisis” left in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The price tag for the effort could reach $20 million, but the mayor said she’ll seek FEMA funding to subside the costs. 

“The only thing that will give real comfort to the residents of the city is action,” said Cantrell. "They want this trash removed. They want the city cleaned up — I do as well.”

The mayor also announced that next month’s $24 sanitation fee will be waived on residents’ waste collection bills. 

City leaders said the emergency trash haulers will prioritize the areas hardest hit by garbage pileups, but promised the effort would reach every neighborhood in New Orleans. 

The trash-hauling blitz could last about a month. The garbage trucks will utilize a temporary transfer station on Chef Menteur Highway — the trash will then be taken to a landfill outside the city. 

Ramsey Green, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for infrastructure, called the emergency plan an “elegant solution to a dirty problem.”

The whole effort will be coordinated with Lt. Euclid Talle, an official with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. 

The four trash-hauling firms hired by the city are: 

  • River Birch
  • Witt O'Brien's LLC
  • Ceres Environmental 
  • Waste Management
Patrick Madden joined WWNO in 2019 as its first-ever Regional News Director, overseeing news reporting at WWNO, as well as our partner station WRKF Baton Rouge. Madden also serves as one of the hosts of Louisiana Considered, and co-hosts Friday's Politics Roundtable on Louisiana Considered with Stephanie Grace, columnist for The Times-Picayune | The Advocate.

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