Many New Orleans residents will have new garbage collection service in less than two months, but some are frustrated with the service being provided under existing contracts. Along streets in the Seventh Ward, trash could be seen piled in front of houses. “It stinks. It’s horrible,” said resident Henry Alexander. “The trash man was supposed to pass yesterday. He hasn’t passed as of yet.” Alexander lives along Mandeville Street, and his block falls in what the city classifies as “Service Area 2,” generally from the Jefferson Parish line running through Lakeview, along the lakefront to Gentilly and New Orleans East, and the downriver neighborhoods of Faubourg Marigny, Bywater and the Lower Ninth Ward.
Metro Disposal has long been responsible for collecting garbage in this area. But, amid service disruptions in the aftermath of COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida, the city announced it would rebid Metro’s contract. The city said the zone will be reduced to once-a-week pickup, whereas before trash was picked up twice each week. “The Department of Sanitation is aware of the ongoing delays in trash collection in Service Area 2,” said a city spokesperson. “Metro is reporting that they are on track to complete all scheduled Monday collections today, which includes the areas in the Seventh Ward that reported no trash collection last week.”
The finalized new contracts were awarded to IV Waste and Waste Pro. IV Waste will handle all areas west of the Industrial Canal, and Waste Pro will handle areas to its east. “We have the capacity, we have the equipment, the assets and we can definitely handle all of our area and other areas as well,” said Sidney Torres IV, owner of IV Waste. Torres said the city increasingly has been giving “emergency routes” to IV Waste. Torres said his company is operating about 12 such routes, with two more just added.“We’re seeing a lot of this throughout the area, where other trash companies are falling behind and they’re calling us to come and assist and help out,” Torres said.