City Awarding Four Emergency Contracts to Solve Solid Waste Collection Crisis
The City of New Orleans announced that it will award four contracts aimed at solving the solid waste collection crisis that is continuing to plague our neighborhoods. Emergency contracts will be awarded to Ceres Environmental Services, LLC; River Birch, LLC; Waste Management, Inc. and Witt O’Brien’s, LLC. The City is pursuing FEMA funding to subsidize the cost; the current estimates for all new emergency trash collection is in the range of $20M.
"These additional contracts will supplement curbside solid waste trash collection in both service areas and will include methodical coordination as they work in partnership with our current contractors that are stepping in to assist," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "Residents are still very frustrated and we recognize that action is the only thing that will give our people comfort as we shift gears to address our trash collection challenges. This is a daunting task, but we now have the resources needed to succeed."
“We have continued to bring all available resources to bear to rid our neighborhoods of trash,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure Ramsey Green. “Our first attempt at contracting out additional support received no responsive bidders for Service Area 2 despite a national call for help. So, we mobilized equipment and labor from multiple City departments and partner agencies in the interim to address this crisis little by little, and simultaneously continued to pursue other more expedient options. Now, we have assembled the right mix of people, equipment and a local transfer station to begin to make substantial progress toward solving this crisis in the next week. We are most grateful for the support of Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) Director General James Waskom and Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Dr. Chuck Brown for helping to broker this solution.”
Ceres Environmental, LLC’s (Ceres) existing contract with the City is being amended to facilitate the citywide collection of solid waste. Beginning Friday, Sept. 24, eight crews will begin collecting all solid waste outside of trash carts using heavy equipment (dump trucks, front end loaders, etc.). Ceres will continue with a steady ramp up of equipment and labor over the next week to a total of 35 crews. This work effort is separate and apart from the emergency storm debris contract and will have a negligible impact on sequencing of that work. Residents should not expect storm debris to be collected as part of these emergency trash collection contracts.
The City is keeping the historically eligible storm debris (Vegetative, C&D, White Goods, etc.) and the storm-related emergency trash collection (excess trash caused by prolonged power outages) separate as there will be two requests for assistance. As FEMA has the final determination on the eligibility of requests for public assistance, it is in the best interest of the City not to comingle expenses that could make the possible reimbursement process more difficult if approved.
Witt O’Brien’s existing contract is being amended to provide monitoring for Ceres solid waste collection beginning Friday, Sept. 24. This work effort is separate and apart from monitoring for the emergency storm debris contract and will have a negligible impact on oversight of that work.
River Birch LLC will be awarded an emergency contract to support solid waste collections Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26 with 20 garbage trucks in Service Area 2 only. The contract does include an option for additional support on future weekends as needed and if trucks and drivers are available.
Waste Management will be awarded an emergency 90-day contract to re-open and operate a Waste Transfer Station that will support citywide solid waste collection located at 16600 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans, LA 70129. This New Orleans-based transfer station effectively cuts the time for trucks to haul trash to the dump in half so that crews can cover more routes each day.
Emergency Trash Contracts Oversight
To ensure effective management, the City will leverage on-site expertise from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). GOHSEP Branch Manager Lieutenant Colonel Euclid D. Talley will oversee the day-to-day operations in support of the Director of Sanitation. Together, these four companies will begin emergency trash collection on Friday, Sept. 24. In the coming days, a progress map for this operation will be available on ready.nola.gov.
Update on Service Area 1 Solid Waste Collection
Richard’s Disposal will continue collection in Service Area 1 with 18 trucks, seven days per week from 4:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Last week, Ramelli Waste, LLC (Ramelli) was issued a contract to augment Richard’s Disposal solid waste collection in Service Area 1 for more than 3,000 households. Crews began on Thursday, Sept. 16 with four trucks focused on removing curbside solid waste and bagged trash; additional trucks will be added as they become available. Richard’s Disposal has continued to make marked progress toward returning to consistent, twice-weekly solid waste collection.
Update on Service Area 2 Solid Waste Collection
Metro Services Group, LLC is continuing their operation with 15-20 trucks in Service Area 2, six to seven days per week from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. IV Waste Management is supporting their efforts with between three and eight trucks, Tuesday through Sunday.
Progressive Ramp Down of Operation Mardi Gras Clean Sweep – Service Area 2
The City initiated Operation Mardi Gras Clean Sweep in the Florida Neighborhood on Thursday, Sept. 16. Crews from multiple City departments and partner agencies have continued working daily using heavy equipment (dump trucks, front end loaders etc.) and laborers to remove bags of trash from the 51 sub zones within Service Area 2. To date, 197 Loads (2,955 Cubic Yards (1,182 Tons)) have been cleared from 10 completed sub zones and crews will continue actively working as we ramp up production. View Operation Mardi Gras Clean Sweep Progress Map.
Emergency Debris Removal
The City’s emergency debris removal contract was in place prior to Hurricane Ida. Debris contractor Ceres began collections last week of an estimated 200,000 cubic yards (54,000 tons) of storm debris that will be picked up via three, citywide passes. The debris collection monitoring map is now posted on CleanUp - NOLA Ready. To date, more than 57,000 cubic yards (19,232 tons) of storm debris has been retrieved, and 2,344 Hazardous Limbs/Trees have been removed. Based on the progress to date, we estimate that it will take about 30 days to complete the first pass. Information will be shared publicly about the schedule and planned collection route for the third and final pass.
Elysian Fields Transfer Station
In response to myriad requests about where residents can drop off solid waste, the City opened the Elysian Fields Transfer Station on Wednesday, Sept. 15 for residents to dispose of bagged household garbage. This service is being provided free of charge between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. seven days per week. To date, 3,145 vehicles (an estimated 300 tons) have visited the transfer station to dispose of trash. The Elysian Fields Transfer Station will continue with this service operation for the foreseeable future.
“Thanks to the men and women who have been on the ground tirelessly removing trash and debris off our streets since Aug. 30 [Departments of Sanitation, Public Works, Parks & Parkways, Mosquito Control and Sewerage & Water Board, New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish Sherriff’s Office],” said Director of Sanitation Matt Torri. “Crews have been able to steadily remove bags across the city in preparation for these emergency trash contractors to get under way. We also thank our residents for their support in utilizing the Elysian Fields facility.”
Curbside recycling remains suspended while contractors focus on solid waste collection. Residents can bring their recycling to the Elysian Fields Drop Off which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Here is a link to the remaining drop off schedule for 2021.
Residents may call 311 for questions regarding solid waste collection and debris removal.
Department of Sanitation The Department of Sanitation directs all activities related to garbage collection, disposal, recycling, and street cleaning, including registration of new garbage and recycling cans. It is also responsible for ensuring compliance of local, state, and federal regulations for solid waste collection and disposal for the City of New Orleans.