NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Thursday (Nov. 17th) the New Orleans City Council approved money to pay two new contractors to pickup residential garbage in the city. The decision comes after council members were previously split on spending the money because it will result in the city paying double for sanitation service in some parts of the city.

Last month, one of the city’s big sanitation contractors declared bankruptcy. Metro Service was struggling to get trash picked up twice a week as required by its contract with the city. In fact, some neighbors say they would often go weeks with no pick up while trash piled up at the curb.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed contracts with two companies, IV Waste and Waste Pro, to cover the areas of the city that Metro is responsible for covering. But that would also require the city to pay double to cover those routes.

Some council member on Thursday approved a new ordinance that redirects $2.5 million dollars from unused NOPD money to pay the new contractors.

The funding comes at the council is also considering the 2023 budget for the Sanitation Department which also pays for street sweeping, clearing illegal dumping sites and other services. Most of the department’s money comes from the sanitation fees that homeowners in the city pay.

But not all of the budget is covered by the sanitation fee, so the department is asking the council for an additional $8 million for its 2023 budget.

Also on Thursday, the council passed an ordinance that it hopes will prevent situations in the future when a mayor signs a contract without the council approving the expenditure. While the city’s largest contracts go through a public bid process, the new ordinance requires the council to approve any contract worth more than $1 million or that runs longer than a year.

The council must approve the budget for next year by December.

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