Trash collection delays causing big stink in N.O.


Posted on September 5, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 5 at 11:01 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Power outages, flooding, intense heat, and now mountains of trash. The latest ripple effect of Hurricane Isaac is being smelled all across the City of New Orleans.

City crews are trying to play catch up now that the storm has passed.

"I live six blocks away and I can smell it walking up off Napoleon," said Veronica Mansell, bar manager at New York Pizza.

The garbage cans are on the verge of overflowing outside the Uptown business. Two power outages are why the trash is piled so high.

"We had to clean out our entire kitchen. So we've been throwing things out all week," said Mansell, who believes the smell is keeping customers craving a slice of pizza or a cold drink on the patio, far away.

"It's been a little troublesome. I mean everyone has to deal with it and everyone is working hard. We understand that, but it's beginning to really affect business," said Mansell.

"They are picking up the trash but you gotta put it out. If you leave it in the yard or the alley, they're not going to come in and get it," Interim New Orleans City Council District B representative Diana Bajoie said during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The city of New Orleans says garbage pick up is currently a day to a day-and-a-half behind because of Hurricane Isaac. Crews are working 16-hour shifts to pick up trash and storm debris.

"If you were scheduled to have a pick up and they haven't come, please leave your garbage out there. If you have had your first pass, please bring your cans back in and put them back out when it's time for your regular collection day," said Deputy Mayor of Operations Michelle Thomas.

While crews work extra hours to pick up what's waiting curbside, one business hopes it will be the next stop.

"Flies are piling up. It's time for it to be picked up," said Mansell.

So far, the city of New Orleans says crews have hauled away nearly 10,000 cubic yards of debris. The goal is to be caught up with trash collection by this Sunday, Sept. 9.