New Orleans garbage haulers shrug off the complications, saying they will start Monday as planned | Business News

A New Orleans-based garbage contractor says it’s full steam ahead to start picking up garbage on Monday, their first scheduled date to start a collection in a large swath of the city stretching from Lakeview to New Orleans East.

IV Waste and Waste Pro executives said Friday they do not care that the company they are replacing, Metro Service Group, has said it will continue to collect on its regular route as it battles with City Hall over the termination of its contract.

Or the new haulers bothered it The City Council voted on Thursday not funding a new contract, a decision that can be reconsidered in the future.

The new contractor will share the territory Metro has covered since 2007, but Metro won the contract last month. by filing for Chapter 11 protection in US Bankruptcy Court. City officials are pushing ahead with signing the new contract, though the city is required to continue paying Metro’s $900,000 monthly bill for now.



New garbage contract for New Orleans

Mayor LaToya Cantrell applauds after Pro Waste Vice President Jesse Murphy, left, and IV Waste owner Sidney Torres, right, signed a new garbage collection contract with New Orleans on Thursday, October 27, 2022. The new contract takes effect Nov. 7. .




On Thursday, Metro said it would continue collecting on its usual route, which raises the possibility that some contractors may try to pick up the same blocks on Monday.

But IV Waste’s owner, Sidney Torres, dismissed that scenario as unlikely, as the new trucks would outnumber those currently run by Metro.

City officials say Metro uses eight to 10 trucks, while IV Waste and Pro Waste will combine to distribute three to four times that number.

“How are they going to stop me? It’s like a Tic Tac in a whale’s mouth,” Torres said, comparing the size of Metro’s fleet to his own.

Council vote

Torres’ company has covered almost half of the Metro route for the last year or so under an emergency contract, which the city sought to help stabilize the collection after Hurricane Ida. City officials say they are paying about $600,000 per month for additional contractors to help Metro maintain semi-regular pickups, while also paying Metro’s regular fares.

The City Council on Thursday voted 3-3, with Council member Lesli Harris absent, to deny the Cantrell administration’s request for $2.5 million to fund a new contract by the end of the year.

They voted against the measure balked at the idea of ​​paying for excessive contracts, and said more time is needed to allow for potential settlement in bankruptcy cases. The funding request is likely to be reconsidered on November 17.



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Crews prepare a disposal truck for road pickup at the Metro Disposal office in New Orleans East on Friday, July 2, 2021. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)




Torres, and Jesse Murphy, of Waste Pro, said they are not worried about paying. Torres said all of the city’s payments on its emergency contract are on time. Murphy said his company’s first invoice won’t arrive until the end of December, allowing some breathing room for the administration and board to reach an agreement.

“We’re just moving forward as planned,” Murphy said.

At the same time, the city has allowed Metro to reduce service frequency to once a week and eliminate recycling. Since Metro’s bankruptcy filing, the city has demanded that Metro immediately resume the contracted level of service. The city has filed a motion in the bankruptcy case to lift the stay, arguing that Metro does not fulfill its obligations.

“They are not completing the scheduled collection, even for the half a week (route) that they currently provide service,” said the city’s Sanitation Director Matt Torri. “The collection is rolling.”

A hearing on the city’s motion is scheduled for Jan. 12, barring a settlement before then.

For its part, Metro is of the opinion that the city’s allowance to reduce the service is the same as the contract amendment, although no amendment has been formally executed.

“We never asked the city once a week. We never asked the city to cancel the recycling. The city did it on its own accord,” Metro co-owner Jimmie Woods said in an interview.

The new contractor will continue to pick up once a week, but officials have promised that the service will take place at the same time every week and recycling will also return.

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