NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — For the first time since declaring bankruptcy, owner of Metro Service Group Jimmie Woods spoke with WGNO about what lead up to his decision.

The group is one of two major garbage collection companies in New Orleans.

Woods says he expects to head to federal court with Mayor Latoya Cantrell and her adminstration.

“We have tried to protect our interest in filing – we think the federal court is going to have some say in terms of what happens with the contracts moving forward,” said Woods.

Metro Service officials claim the mayor and her adminstration violated their contract by not activating emergency protocol at the beginning of the pandemic.

That was a time where many were under shelter-in-place orders and officials claim 30% of commercial waste was moved to household trash cans.

Woods says enacting the emergency protocol would’ve made a major difference.

“It would’ve made resources available quicker for us to be able to go out in the market and try to bring in resources from outside the Greater New Orleans area to help get the waste off the streets,” said Woods.

Since the inception of Metro Service’s contract with the city in 2017, Woods claims they’ve been underpaid.

“We are providing service for over 70,000 homes per month, we are being paid for 66,000 and obviously you do the math,” he said. “Over a period of time it has a significant impact on the liquidity of your company as well as your ability to pay your employees the way you’d like to.”

The adminstration has rebid Metro Service’s area, however Woods contract runs through March of 2024. He says he plans to fulfill it.

Woods claims the new company will be paid 80% more than what he gets.

The mayor’s office says they are aware of Metro’s bankruptcy filing and are assessing their legal options.