City preparing for Carnival trash cleanup

February 28 2011 | Latest News
Garbage vendors at the ready...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Times-Picayune

By Michelle Krupa

Staff writer

As New Orleans enters its messiest season of the year, City Hall has directed SDT Waste & Debris Services to expand its French Quarter service area on most days through Ash Wednesday and has contracted for additional services from the city's other two major trash vendors.

The city's Sanitation Department has ordered SDT to collect trash from litter cans, households and small businesses, as well as to sweep streets and sidewalks, in the entire French Quarter, from Rampart Street to the river and from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue, Sidney Torres IV, the firm's owner, said Saturday.

SDT is providing the extra services this weekend, Saturday through Monday, and again Friday through Ash Wednesday.

Under SDT's current contract with the city, the company normally is not responsible for areas from St. Ann Street to Esplanade or from Bourbon Street to Rampart.

The city will pay SDT about $82,000 for the extra work, Torres said.

Meanwhile, Metro Disposal has been hired to provide extra street sweepers along parade routes on both sides of the river, mayoral spokesman Ryan Berni said. The cost is expected to be about $19,000, he said.

Richard's Disposal has been directed to provide additional garbage trucks along the parade routes, with the price tag expected to come to a little more than $37,000, Berni said.

The city's 2011 sanitation budget includes $169,290 for contracted Mardi Gras services, records show. Overtime pay for city sanitation workers is built into the department's personnel budget, Berni said. The city traditionally allocates extra money for Carnival clean-up in its annual spending plan.

"At this point, we're confident that we'll be at a reasonable cost," Berni said. "If additional resources are needed, we'll make that happen. We're very confident that the entire city will be clean this Mardi Gras."

All three vendors' contracts include provisions allowing the city to buy certain additional services for special events. The additional Carnival work by SDT and Richard's will be covered under those rules, Berni said.