City leaders recommend cutting sanitation fees by 50% as once-a-week collection begins
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People in New Orleans say waived sanitation fees are not enough to compensate for new once-a-week garbage collection. Some council members agree.
On Baudin Street Kaylin Hollins has had enough.
“They come occasionally but I haven’t been seeing them, it’s been piling up,” said Hollins.
This week, the city went to once a week trash collection. But smelly trash still sits in front of her house, as it’s done for most of the summer, and she worries about her family’s health.
“You want to enjoy the weather because it’s Fall, but it’s toxic for my kids. I don’t want them outside,” said Hollins.
Some residents are confused as to when their weekly pick-up will take place. But, due to persistent problems, residents will not have to pay their next garbage bill.
“The sanitation fee will be waived for the month of November and they reflect it as a credit on your bill,” said City Communications Director Beau Tidwell.
But one council member says the November fee waiver doesn’t go far enough considering just how much garbage service has been cut.
“I plan on introducing an ordinance cutting the sanitation fees in half since the services have been reduced,” said city council member Jared Brossett.
Brossett shelved a similar measure several weeks ago but will push it once more as the city prepares to sign a new garbage contract this fall.
“I think you will see us doing everything we can with due diligence to make sure we’re not back in the same situation,” said Tidwell.
IV Waste currently operates 50 garbage trucks in Orleans Parish and will bid on the new contract.
Owner Sidney Torres just signed a new contract with the city to collect trash in Lakeview. He says citywide, the situation is so bad, residents are contacting him to provide service on their street, a process that would involve them having to get an abatement from having to pay the current city fee.
“If somebody calls us and says they have a subdivision that’s not being picked up, I will give them a price to do that. If it works out it works out,” said Torres.
“I wish they could do something about it right now,” said Hollins.
Torres says he is not actively soliciting new business from individual citizens. He says residents should wait for the new once a week process to play out before completely giving up.
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