NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Even though it’s a new year, one problem remains for some New Orleans neighbors. Garbage is sitting on the curb once again.

New Orleans just executed two new trash contractors in the service area but Richards Disposal, the older contractor, is struggling to keep up with Service Area 1 pickup. The company says there are reasons why that is but residents say they just want their trash collected.

“It’s definitely been out of control, you can look around the neighborhood and you can see trash strewn all over the place,” said Earl Williams, Hollygrove resident.

Williams is one of many complaints about the collection or lack thereof. Councilman Joe Giarusso just this week has been fielding complaints from residents about their trash service in area one not getting picked up on time.

“The city sent Richards on December 16th a letter saying you need to cure all of these deficiencies we’re pointing out to you. you need to make right. over this past weekend, number 2 is a drop off in pickups and collections and so many complaints we received all over the district,” said Joe Giarrusso, New Orleans City Council.

Owner of Richard’s Disposal, Alvin Ricard admitted to having troubles with hiring and keeping labor but also points out a significant disparity in pay between their current contracts and those recently signed new contracts.

“The city brought in two new companies and they’re paying them 80% more than they’re paying us. Just to use numbers, my understanding is one gets $28 per home, and one gets $32 per home. I make $12 per home. So the difference is my employees are leaving to go to those other two companies,” said Alvin Richard, Richard’s Disposal.

There is also a pay dispute over emergency pay from the pandemic and Hurricane Ida.

“They owe us quite a sum of money, but yet they’ve come in with the new contractors and they’re paying them and they’re refusing to pay us,” said Alvin Richard.

Giarusso says despite the issues with pickups, the company should still be paid.

“If the city is not paying Richards or Mr. Richard on time that’s a problem, they’ve got to do it. They’ve got to be timely and make sure he’s getting his money. You can’t run a business if you’re not being paid and if the city is not meeting its obligation, then it needs to do its job too,” said Joe Giarrusso, New Orleans City Council.

Despite what’s happening between the city and the contractor, residents just want their trash picked up when it’s supposed to be and for the situation to be settled.

“I don’t know if it’s the conflict with Richards Disposal or whatever, but it needs to be settled,” said Earl Williams.

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