City’s trash woes continue, but officials and Metro work on solutions


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Resident Ronald Cravinas spoke to us about some of the animals in his New Orleans East neighborhood that are taking advantage of the lapses in trash collection.

Cravinas said, “Rats, roaches possums, they even got coons that come out at night and we’ve got to be careful.”

This is happening in many parts of the city and the company responsible, Metro Service Group, says even though they’re working to rectify the collection schedule, they’re short on qualified drivers for their trucks.

Jimmie Woods, Metro Service Group CEO said, “I feel bad for my staff because we’ve worked to hard to thru the pandemic to stay on task to deliver this essential service that we provide.”

The collection issues are being taken up Thursday by the city council and District E Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen questions where the collections should be moved to once a week.

According to Nguyen, “I really think we need to look at that option.”

That’s one solution being considered and Nguyen admits the amount of trash would be the same with either schedule but one day may be more manageable for Metro, right now.

In the meantime help for Metro is also coming from others in the trash business.

“Our colleagues that we literally compete with every day but we’ve had several of those firms step up,” said Woods.

For residents, this is a welcome sign but they just want their garbage collected on time.

Woods also stated, “We’re not satisfied with the level of service. For 39+ years we’ve delivered superior service. These last 60 days have been a real challenge but we’re going to get past it and we’re going to get back to the level of service they expect from Metro.”

The Mayor’s Office sent WGNO this statement:

The labor shortage is a national crisis that is impacting both the public and private sectors and will take some time to resolve. The City is continuing to work alongside our sanitation contractors to find solutions for the solid waste and recycling collection issues caused by a shortage of personnel. To that end, the City’s service providers are identifying and entering into new agreements with companies to augment collections, primarily in the Metro Service Group (Metro) area. 

We are hopeful that this additional labor capacity will enable Metro to catch up on its backlog and return to consistent, twice weekly collection within the next 30 days.

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