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Trash collections reduced to once a week to ‘bring some predictability’ to New Orleans pickup

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Ryan Nelsen/WWNO
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Trash in New Orleans will temporarily be picked up once a week in most neighborhoods to ensure a more consistent pickup schedule for residents, city officials said Saturday, after many had gone weeks, some months, without their garbage collected.

Starting this week, each neighborhood will be put on a trash collection schedule that runs from Monday through Saturday. Pickup for residents typically runs twice a week. The only exception is the French Quarter, where daily trash collection will continue.

Residents of other neighborhoods can view their new trash collection schedule on the Sanitation Services Map.

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Source: NOLA.gov
The New Orleans Department of Sanitation’s temporary Sanitation Services Map.

Matt Torri, the city’s sanitation director, said in the statement that the city’s emergency trash collection contracts are underway, but his team is pursuing “complementary solutions” to make the collection schedule more reliable.

“We are collectively beginning to see the progress on the ground, but it’s time to bring some predictability so that our residents can better prepare for their trash collection,” Torri said in the statement. “We are confident that this temporary move will help to get us back on track and result in the same amount of trash being picked up once each week.”

During each collection, sanitation workers will empty city-supplied 95-gallon trash bins, recycling bins filled with garbage, personal trash bins and up to six trash bags not placed in bins. Larger waste items, such as fridges or carpets, will be collected if possible, according to city officials.

Curbside recycling pickup services remain suspended.

The statement also said that New Orleans residents will have their November sanitation fees waived and reflected as a credit on their Sewerage and Water Board bill.

Hurricane Ida caused the suspension of trash collection services in New Orleans from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, though garbage pickup problems began well before the storm due to labor issues.

According to a Sept. 9 statement from Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s Office, trash pickup was initially delayed by staffing shortages and heavily-loaded garbage bins. The city’s failure to quickly and consistently collect solid waste and storm debris before and after Ida sparked different levels of public outcry, ranging from a trash parade to a threat against Cantrell’s life.

To relieve some of the burden from Richard’s Disposal and Metro Disposal, which operate New Orleans trash collection services under normal circumstances, the city contracted four companies: Ceres Environmental Services, LLC; River Birch, LLC; Waste Management, Inc. and Witt O’Brien’s, LLC. FEMA has agreed to reimburse the city government for the contracts, which will cost approximately $20 million.

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