Hurricane Ida has left the City of New Orleans in despair. Not only because of the damages it caused but also because of the veritable solid waste crisis that came in its wake. Many households go now up to three weeks without their trash cans being emptied. But as experts say the hurricane didn't cause the crisis, it magnified it.
It started after hurricane Katrina with troubles over a new landfill to deal with the additional solid waste, that in the end did not start its service. In the years after labor issues and a lack of accountability from the city’s contractors both played a role in inconsistent trash services in New Orleans. The COVID-19 pandemic didn't help either. Now after hurricane Ida the city hasn't received a significant offer to their emergency contracts that would help their contractors. And residents grow more and more frustrated.
Now the City of New Orleans outlined a near-term plan aimed at solving the solid waste management crisis. The City is pushing forward with a multi-pronged approach, leveraging resources from internal City departments and partner agencies, as well as operational Mardi Gras clean up expertise. It hopes to alleviate the trash build up throughout the whole city and to secure functioning waste collection in the future.