The city of New Orleans realizes it has a trash and odor problem but there is not a quick fix in place, according to city spokesman Beau Tidwell at his weekly press briefing Tuesday.
Tidwell said that only about two-thirds of the city has seen trash pickup and the problem is capacity and not a money issue.
He said that there currently is about three times the amount of trash that would usually be on the street with only one-fourth of the capacity of workers on trucks to pick it up.
“We’re working to address this as soon as possible,” he said. “It won’t be a quick and easy fix to this.”
Tidwell said that bids went out Monday night for additional emergency trash pickup capacity and he expects that more trucks could be on the streets by the end of the week.
Tidwell advised residents that will only have the city-issued, 95-gallon containers picked up on the first pass.
The City of New Orleans reports that there was 54,000 tons of debris throughout the city after Hurricane Ida. So far, sanitation crews have been able to clear 3,000 tons.
"It's a perfect storm of three things that have married together to accelerate these challenges," said Greg Beuerman, Metro service group spokesperson.
Metro is one of three sanitation contractors used by the city. Beuerman tells WWL-TV that Metro's workers have been impacted by the covid pandemic, the hurricane, and the sheer amount of trash and debris said hurricane left behind.
Solid waste contractors are reporting that they're about two thirds through the first pass of the city.
Now the city is outsourcing for help.
"We have our emergency procurement for supplemental assistance solid waste opening this evening," New Orleans, Sanitation Director Matt Tori, said on Monday at a press conference.
In the aftermath of hurricane Ida, Metro says that trash has been an issue across the state, but in New Orleans East residents say their sidewalks have been covered in trash all Summer.
"This been going on for a minute now," Mary Williams said.
She’s been living in her home in New Orleans since the 90s and says she’s never seen anything like this before.
"We feel like we're second class citizens," said New Orleans East resident Ashleigh Grandpre.