New Orleans waste hauler files for bankruptcy protection

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Metro’s bankruptcy filing automatically prohibits the city from terminating the company’s contract, at least for now.

NEW ORLEANS — There’s no denying that trash pickup in parts of New Orleans has at times been as rotten as two-week-old trash.

Metro Service Group currently picks up in City Service Area 2, north of I-10 from the Jefferson Parish line to the lake to the east.

The waste hauler has filed for bankruptcy, saying its contract doesn’t accurately reflect the number of homes it serves and the city hasn’t paid it for the extra tonnage picked up during the pandemic.

Subway owner Jimmie Woods spoke about the case this week on WBOK radio.

“To date, we have not received an extra penny for the waste that has been collected since the start of the pandemic,” Woods told the radio station. “It was very impractical… to have this volume boost without any additional compensation.”

The city renewed Metro’s contract when the company was unable to consistently collect garbage on time.

Metro’s bankruptcy filing automatically prohibits the city from terminating the company’s contract, at least for now.

On Thursday, the city council’s budget committee took a break from funding new trash contacts.

“I’m getting closer to wanting to know what the bankruptcy judge is telling us to do rather than act,” said budget committee chairman Joe Giarrusso.

Waste Pro and IV Waste were scheduled to take over from Metro on November 7.

The city’s director of sanitation, Matt Torri, told the council that the city has yet to be able to pay the new suppliers.

“The city is still moving towards November 7, and we have to be ready to act if that happens,” Torre said.

Board Vice Chairman JP Morrell also opposed a plan to transfer $2.5 million of excess police department money to fund new contracts through the end of the year.

“As we try to assure residents that all existing resources are being used to fight crime, taking money out of the police department’s budget to fund sanitation could be seriously misunderstood by our constituents, by the public “, Morrell said.

IV Waste owner Sidney Torres said he would be worried about his current contract if he didn’t already take 45% of Metro’s route.

“When you look at what happens with the bankruptcy, it will depend on the judge and what they decide to do with it, but as far as we’re concerned, we’re moving forward with the November start date,” Torres says.

City spokesman John Lawson said in a statement, “Our priority here is to ensure that no solid waste collection service in Service Area 2 is interrupted in any way. .”

The next hearing in bankruptcy court is now set for November 23.

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