New Orleans Residents Holding ‘Trash Parade’ on Saturday to Protest Lack of Garbage Pickup
It has been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Ida battered the southeastern portion of Louisiana. And while power has been restored to much of the region, in New Orleans, residents are still waiting for trash pickups to resume.
Obviously, there has been an overwhelming amount of branches and storm debris at the roads needing to be picked up. But a lot of residents of the Crescent City haven't even seen regular trash pickup since the storm.
As a result, citizens are saying they can smell their cans baking in the late summer heat.
The reason for the lack of trash services? Labor issues.
In a press release on Wednesday, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said that staffing remains an issue and it's attributed to the national labor shortage due to the pandemic.
The city's trash collection contract is with Ramelli Waste, LLC and they've been working on getting help from other companies to get caught up. But city officials say finding additional outside bidders has been difficult. Earlier this week, the city extended the contract three days in hopes of finding more bids.
Unfortunately, the lack of consistent garbage services has been a theme for some parts of the city even before Ida. Residents of Bywater say they were only seeing Metro trash collectors around twice a month.
Now, due to the current situation, Cantrell announced a couple of days ago that the Department of Sanitation would allow residents to dispose of bagged household trash at the Elysian Fields Transfer Station.
Regardless that the mayor has come up with a bit of a solution to the sitting trash problem, New Orleanians are still upset with government officials.
So in true New Orleans fashion, a Facebook group has formed to "raise a stink" about the lack of trash services.
It all started after a bit of a joke from Aaron "Louisiana" Grant, who made a Facebook post on Monday sarcastically suggesting that citizens deposit their uncollected garbage at City Hall.
"If it doesn't get picked up by Wednesday," Grant posted online, "I may organize the first annual Trash Parade."
Fast forward later in the week, and the New Orleans Trash Parade is set for Saturday, September 18 at 11:00 am. Citizens who want to take part will be assembling on St. Claude Avenue at the corner of Elysian Fields Avenue for a protest parade to City Hall.
Grant says the Trash Parade will be both genuine political criticism and tongue-in-cheek, Carnival-style satire.
"Basically, we'll make light of it," Grant said of the city's dreadful sanitation situation, "but we've got a lot of very serious questions to ask."
Now, Grant doesn't want to compound the garbage problem by dumping trash, but instead, he may deposit a "ceremonial bag of trash" on the steps of City Hall.
If you're interested in attending the event, here is some information that was posted on the Facebook event page for New Orleans Trash Parade:
Time to raise a stink!!! Crank up the jams. We’re having a Trash Parade y’all!!!
Line up at St Claude and Elysian Fields 11:00 am Saturday. Folks are encouraged to wear garbage bags and garbage-related costumes.
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