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COVID-19 Schedule Update

To all of our customers in Orleans and St. John the Baptist Parishes, please be advised that despite COVID-19, Metro Service Group, Inc., will continue with its regularly scheduled trash pick-up service days in your respective areas. We pray that you and your families are safe and sheltering in place during this unprecedented time.


Hurricane Ida Updates

From City of New Orleans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 5, 2021

Department of Sanitation

Debris Separation / Collection
  • Place storm-related debris curbside in the following categories:

1) Household Garbage: Bagged garbage, discarded food, paper, packaging. (Use City-issued trash cart for disposal of bagged rotting waste).

2) Construction Debris: building materials, drywall, lumber, carpet, furniture, etc.

3) Unbagged Vegetative Debris: logs, leaves, tree branches, plants.

4) Appliances: Doors must be sealed/secured.

 

  • Do not block roadways or place debris near trees, poles, or fire hydrants. The first debris removal pass is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

 

Curbside Solid Waste Collection

 

  • Limited curbside solid waste collection resumed on Thursday, Sept. 2.
  • The City's solid waste contractors will only be dumping the city-issued 95-gallon trash cart during these initial passes.
  • Residents should continue to bag their rotting waste, place in the City-issued trash cart and leave their carts on the curb until they are emptied; it will take some time for sanitation contractors to complete the full, citywide collection cycle.
  • Recycling collections have been suspended until further notice.

  Full Sept. 5, 2021 press release from the City of New Orleans re: Hurricane Ida can be found in the news tab below.

quick tip...

When experiencing inclement weather please secure all garbage and recycling collection containers on your property between collections to avoid scattered trash and lost carts. 

NEWS...

September 20, 2021: New Orleans trash problem assessed on nola.com

"Driver availability and pay seem to be at the core of the city's trash troubles...We've heard from city leaders and waste companies, especially Metro Service Group, this this isn't a local problem. That smelled funny to me, so I've been asking around and doing some research. Turns out they're telling the truth."

 

Read the full article here.

FAQs About Waste Collection Delays

About the Waste Collection Delays

Why are these delays happening?

Delays in collecting your trash are largely due to an absence of qualified drivers and the massive increase in volume.  Never before has the city been confronted with so much household waste at one time.  Coupled with a nationwide shortage in drivers for all service sectors, as the city has stated many times, delays have been unavoidable. This shortage is due to a number of factors including Covid and now, the displacement of some of our drivers due to damages from Hurricane Ida.

The sheer volume of waste to be collected forces our trucks to stop their routes every few blocks and make the long trip to the city’s only landfill.  There, they frequently wait in line causing even more delays before being about to go back to their routes.

Why is Metro the only company having these problems?

That is simply not the case, although our problems are more acute for several reasons.  Metro has by far the largest collection area in terms of geographic size and number of households.  We collect at 72,000 homes (although the city only pays Metro for 66,000 residences). One of the other local sanitation companies only services around 4000 homes in a very small area. We use more trucks than the other companies and therefore we need more drivers.

Why can’t you pay your drivers more so you can hire more of them?

Our starting pay for drivers is $17, which is very competitive. Many of our drivers make more than that.  Our “hoppers” are paid at or above the city’s living wage. This isn’t a problem of pay scale – it is an absence of qualified workforce.

What are you doing to deal with the problem?

We have brought in trucks from our Mississippi operations and housed workers in local hotels to assist with the routes. We have also subcontracted at our own expense with other waste management companies to assist with employee shortages. In point of fact, we pay our outside contractor more than the city pays Metro.

Additionally, we have entered into a partnership with the Louisiana WorkForce Commission and the City of New Orleans Job One Program, to assist with employment recruiting and advertising, CDL licensure and diesel mechanic certifications. And we have increased the starting hourly rate for truck drivers to $17 per hour.

How long will this problem last?

Unfortunately this problem won’t completely go away until we are able to hire enough drivers or the massive volume of household waste drops.  However, it will go away faster when the city develops a comprehensive plan that will help all local sanitation contractors. Clearly, a comprehensive plan is key for all the sanitation contractors and for the residents.

People say the problem exists because you don’t pay your employees well.

That is not true. We have increased the starting hourly rate for truck drivers to $17 per hour, as well as for our certified diesel mechanics with hourly rates up to $46 per hour, technicians with hourly rates up to $28 per hour and tire repair personnel with hourly rates up to $30 per hour.  We have also implemented a hiring bonus program for new employees. All of our other employees are paid at or above the city’s living wage.

 

September 5, 2021: Regarding Hurricane Ida, City of New Orleans Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Sept. 5, 2021

 

For Media Inquiries Only communications@nola.gov (504) 658-4945

City of New Orleans Continues Hurricane Ida Relief Efforts

 

NEW ORLEANS — Today, the City of New Orleans updated residents on Hurricane Ida response and recovery efforts.

 

City agencies and public safety officials continue to assess and respond to damages sustained during the storm, including continuing to facilitate ongoing sheltering and evacuation operations for residents in need. Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other City officials continue to prioritize residential needs by moving resources to neighborhoods, as well as responding to infrastructure, health and community needs on an ongoing basis.

 

Recovery updates and community resources are as follows:

 

City Agencies

 

Transportation Assistance to State-Run Shelters

  • The City of New Orleans continues to provide transportation assistance to State-run shelters for New Orleans residents who wish to temporarily leave the Hurricane Ida impact area.
  • This operation has been successful so far, with 180 residents utilizing the service yesterday and 135 today. The current operation is set up with the staffing and resources to move 2,300 people per day. Due to the reduced demand for this service, the City is scaling down operations to meet current needs.
  • Residents who wish to use this service can now go to one of 8 RTA pickup locations between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to get RTA bus transport to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. At the Convention Center, they will get registered for transportation assistance and board a motor coach bus to a State-run shelter in Northern Louisiana or in a neighboring state.

 

Here are the 8 RTA pickup points:

  • Treme Recreation Center (900 N. Villere St.)
  • Cut-Off Recreation Center (6600 Belgrade St.)
  • Gernon Brown Recreation Center (1001 Harrison Ave.)
  • Milne Recreation Center (5420 Franklin Ave.)
  • Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center (4300 St. Claude.)
  • John P. Lyons Recreation Center (624 Louisiana Ave.)
  • Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd.)
  • Rosenwald Recreation Center (1120 S. Broad Ave.)

These 8 pickup points are also serving as the NORD Cooling Centers, where residents can access water, ice, device charging, cooling for people and pets, pet food, diapers and baby supplies, FEMA assistance, and meals served at various times throughout the day.

More information is available at nola.gov/shelterbus.

 

New Orleans Health Department (NOHD)

  • Yesterday, the New Orleans Health Department continued post-Hurricane Ida wellness checks at multiple senior apartment complexes in New Orleans, evacuating 8 facilities that were deemed unfit for ongoing occupancy and bringing the number of post-storm fatalities in senior living sites to 5.
  • New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, the New Orleans Fire Department, and the Regional Transit Authority assisted in the evacuation of Peace Lake Towers in New Orleans East, St. John Berchman in Gentilly, St. Martin Manor in the Warehouse District, Delille Inn in New Orleans East, Nazareth Inn 1 & 2 in New Orleans East (1 fatality), Flint Goodridge Apartments in Milan (2 fatalities), and Christopher Inn in the Marigny (1 fatality). That is in addition to the 2 facilities ordered closed on Friday, including Annunciation Inn in the Seventh Ward (1 fatality) and Renaissance Place in Algiers. The 5 deaths are under investigation by the Coroner’s Office.
  • Evacuated residents have been triaged by medical professionals and transported to facilities appropriate for their condition, with the majority being bussed from the Convention Center to general population shelters in Northern Louisiana and some transferred to area hospitals.
  • Approximately 600 individuals were processed through the City’s transportation assistance program at the Convention Center yesterday, the vast majority of whom were residents of the evacuated apartment complexes.
  • Wellness checks are ongoing at private facilities and the public is encouraged to call 3-1-1 to report dangerous living conditions in senior apartment complexes.

 

Sewerage and Water Board New Orleans (SWBNO)

 

Sewer Pumping Stations | Sewer Treatment Plant

  • Currently SWBNO has 56 of 84 sewer pump stations operational. 43 of those are on the East Bank, 13 on the Westbank. These stations have either a portable pump, generator or Entergy Power.
    • 7 Stations with confirmed Entergy power are: Station A, Station D, SPS 19, Castle Manor SPS, Oak Island SPS, Shorewood, SPS and Park Timbers and more are expected throughout the day.
    • SWBNO Networks Department is utilizing a fleet of vac trucks to pump out stations as they fill up.
    • 8 flush trucks are in use to respond to back-ups.
  • The East Bank Wastewater Treatment Plant now has Entergy power; we are bringing plant operations back up slowly. We will continue to keep the bypass valves to the river open until the plant is fully operational.
    • This is why we are urging the public to be extremely mindful when using water. This means not using large appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, taking shorter showers and focusing on general water conservation.

 

Customer Service | Emergency Hotline

  • Please call 52-WATER or visit swbno.org to report water and sewer emergencies, like sewer back-ups and water leaks.
  • Power to our St. Joseph Street Customer Service Center is back up on Entergy power.
  • The billing software is online, so customers are able to pay their bills via the web, but not the phone.
  • We are not shutting off water service to customers for the time being.

 

Drinking Water

  • SWBNO Water Plant in Algiers is supplying neighboring parishes with water via filling stations in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health.
  • SWBNO is on Entergy power at the Carrollton Water Plant, which means all substations (Hamilton, Sycamore, Claiborne) are being powered via Entergy.
  • Water pressure and water quality are stable. Water is safe to drink.

 

Drainage and Power Equipment Status

  • With Entergy power restored to the Carrollton Water Plant, Turbines 4 and 6 will come offline for routine checks and maintenance to make sure we are prepared for the next rain event.
    • DPS 1, DPS 2, DPS 10, DPS 14, DPS 16 currently have Entergy power
    • Entergy is expected to power more drainage pump stations throughout the day.

 

Department of Sanitation

 

Debris Separation / Collection

  • Place storm-related debris curbside in the following categories:

1) Household Garbage: Bagged garbage, discarded food, paper, packaging. (Use City-issued trash cart for disposal of bagged rotting waste).

2) Construction Debris: building materials, drywall, lumber, carpet, furniture, etc.

3) Unbagged Vegetative Debris: logs, leaves, tree branches, plants.

4) Appliances: Doors must be sealed/secured.

  • Do not block roadways or place debris near trees, poles, or fire hydrants. The first debris removal pass is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Curbside Solid Waste Collection

  • Limited curbside solid waste collection resumed on Thursday, Sept. 2.
  • The City's solid waste contractors will only be dumping the city-issued 95-gallon trash cart during these initial passes.
  • Residents should continue to bag their rotting waste, place in the City-issued trash cart and leave their carts on the curb until they are emptied; it will take some time for sanitation contractors to complete the full, citywide collection cycle.
  • Recycling collections have been suspended until further notice.

 

New Orleans Public Library (NOPL)- Central City Library Opening Tomorrow

  • Central City Library will be open Monday, Sept. 6, for computer/Wi-Fi access, phone charging stations, and air conditioning.
  • Located at the Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center at 2020 Jackson Avenue, Suite 139, the site will be open from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • The Library does not have device chargers and asks residents to bring their own. Plugs will be available on a first come, first served basis for an hour per person.
  • All other Library locations remain closed at this time.
  • As additional libraries open, information on hours of operation can be found on organd on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @nolalibrary.

 

Community Resources & Assistance

 

RTA adds Additional Routes to Limited Bus Service

  • Today, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced the addition of more routes to the limited bus service the agency is operating to support the city’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Ida.
  • Beginning Sunday, Sept. 5, limited service will run daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on a modified Saturday schedule along the following routes:
    • 27-Louisiana
    • 39-Tulane
    • 47-Canal
    • 84-Galvez
    • 88-St. Claude
    • 90-Carrollton
    • 94-Broad
    • 91-Jackson/Esplanade
    • 102-General Meyer
    • 114-General DeGaulle-Sullen
    • 115-General DeGaulle-Tullis
  • Fares continue to be waived.
  • For more information, visit www.norta.com or follow RTA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NewOrleansRTA.

Uber Transportation Code

  • Uber Code: IDARELIEF2021
  • Uber is offering a free code to allow residents to go to City Cooling Centers and PODs at the below locations.

 

Locations

 

Treme Recreation Center (900 N. Villere St); Cut-Off Recreation Center (6600 Belgrade St.); Gernon Brown Recreation Center (1001 Harrison Ave.); Milne Recreation Center (5420 Franklin Ave.); Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center (4300 St. Claude Ave.); John P. Lyons Recreation Center (624 Louisiana Ave.); Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd.); Rosenwald Recreation Center (1120 S. Broad Ave.); Joe W. Brown Park, (5475 Read Blvd.); Mahalia Jackson Auditorium, (1451 Basin St.); Skelly Park, (2515 Vespasian Blvd.); Wesley Barrow Stadium, (6500 Press Dr.); Life Transformation Community Center, (8606 Marks St.); Arthur Monday Center (1111 Newton St.); St. Roch Park (1800 St. Roch Ave.); Harmony Oaks (2514 Washington Ave.); McDonogh 35 (4000 Cadillac St.).

 

 

Blue Tarp Distribution

  • The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is providing blue tarps for Orleans Parish residents who sustained roof damage
  • Visit Blue Roof Information (army.mil) for information on how to retrieve a blue tarp

Points of Distribution (POD) Sites

 

MREs, water, ice:

  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Skelly Park (2515 Vespasian Blvd.)
  • 8 a.m-6 p.m., Lyons Center (624 Louisiana Ave.)
  • 8 am.-6 p.m., Joe W. Brown Park (5475 Read Blvd.)
  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Wesley Barrow Stadium (6500 Press Dr.)
  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Mahalia Jackson Auditorium (1419 Basin St.)
  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Dryades YMCA (2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.)

 

Additional State & Local Resources

 

Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) Family Reunification Hotline

  • The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is launching “Connect,” a way for families to locate loved ones who evacuated from Hurricane Idea to a state shelter.
  • The number to call is 225-342-2727. Alternatively, families can fill out a form online to reach out to loved ones who may be in state congregate shelters. That form is found at http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/form/dcfs-connect
  • Individuals looking for loved ones evacuated from one of the following seven nursing homes should call 211, which is coordinating with LDH’s Office of Aging and Adult Services to connect families:
    • River Palms Nursing and Rehab, Orleans Parish
    • South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, Lafourche Parish
    • Maison Orleans Healthcare Center, Orleans Parish
    • Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home, Jefferson Parish
    • West Jefferson Health Care Center, Jefferson Parish
    • Maison DeVille Nursing Home, Terrebonne Parish
    • Maison DeVille Nursing Home of Harvey, Jefferson Parish
  • The number to reach Louisiana 211 from outside the state is: 800-755-5175.

# # #

August 5, 2021: A Special Message Regarding Trash Collection

August 5, 2021

 

 

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

 

Metro Service Group continues to make progress toward ensuring timely residential collections in the neighborhoods we serve. We are grateful to the City for its engagement as these challenges are being worked through, and for the City's JOB 1 program's assistance in improving employee recruitment.

 

Over the past 60-days Metro has been creative in exploring various employee recruitment options in addition to increasing compensation for its workforce. Progress has allowed the company to reduce delayed collections on most routes. Still, we understand that some routes are periodically delayed and that some residential customers are frustrated with those delays. Please know that the company remains fully committed to timely collections everywhere we operate in the city.

 

More specifically, Metro has addressed the driver's shortage in numerous ways since the staffing challenges accelerated earlier this year. These steps include increasing starting pay to $17 per hour from $14.50, incenting employees to get vaccinated to avoid absenteeism, establishing a collaborative recruitment initiative with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, bringing in other Metro assets and crews from other areas we serve, holding a pop-up employment fair, participating in other employment events, and entering into sub-contractor agreements with other regional waste hauling companies to assist Metro on some routes.

 

Comprehensively, these initiatives have increased our drivers pool by a net gain of 7 drivers at present. Still, Metro owners understand and sympathize with the public's impatience when routes are not run on time, and we will continue to pursue every possible option for improving recruitment and meeting our own and the public's high standards for performance.

July 9, 2021: A Special Message Regading Trash Collection

July 9, 2021

 

Metro Service Group Committed to Using All Available Resources to Address Staffing Shortages in Orleans Parish Waste and Recycling Removal

New Orleans, LA, July 9, 2021- Metro Service Group is working hard to address worker shortages and improve employee recruitment and job training for the company’s Orleans Parish operations. 


Metro, like numerous other sanitation contractors around the United States, has suffered from staffing shortages throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 


As a part of the “Back to Work Louisiana” campaign the Louisiana Workforce Commission, LWC, is partnering with businesses across the state who are working hard to get people back into the workforce. Metro reached out to LWC to use the proven resources they have available, including job fairs and training opportunities, to assist in this effort.


Like so many other businesses, LWC will assist Metro in workforce development and recruitment through electronic outreach, help the company with tools to expand driver training, and use existing programs to make cross training current Metro employees easier. These steps will go a long way toward being able to fill numerous staffing roles within the company.


“These programs the Louisiana Workforce Commission offers show they recognize the need for an innovative approach to help businesses in need, including ours, during these difficult times,” said Metro President Jimmy Woods, “We recognize that many residents of our service district have been inconvenienced by periodic delays as we have struggled to recruit and retain employees to conduct the difficult work of keeping the city’s streets clean with ever increasing volumes during the pandemic.”


This is one of several steps the company has taken to meet its contractual obligations to the City of New Orleans to provide timely and high quality sanitation services for the residents of Orleans Parish. 


Other steps taken by the company include salary adjustments to ensure the company’s ability to compete in the current employment environment and meet the company’s obligation to the people of New Orleans, bringing in Metro employees from other communities in the region, and sub-contracting with other sanitation companies to increase the pool of available personnel on Metro’s routes.


Metro collects at approximately 70,000 homes in the city three times per week over the largest geographic area of any of New Orleans’ three sanitation contractors.  The company also has operations in several other south Louisiana parishes and Mississippi counties.


“Metro has explored numerous options to recruit new workers and to retain current workers in a highly competitive employment environment,” said Woods, “These tools LWC offers give us a new avenue for recruitment and job training that we believe can reap short-term benefits as we seek to fulfill our obligations to the city and its residents as our company has faithfully done for the last nearly 40 years.”


Persons interested in applying for positions with Metro can click here.

About Metro Services Group
Metro Service Group, located in New Orleans, is a multi-faceted corporation with specific expertise and certifications in the areas of commercial and residential sanitation environmental services, construction and demolition, disaster response and recovery.  Founded in 1982 by brothers Glenn and Jimmie Woods, Metro has grown from a single axle rear loading truck into a major industrial services firm.  Metro Services Group is one of two minority owned sanitation providers contracted with the City of New Orleans for residential waste removal and recycling. Metro Services Group has business operations throughout southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

 

June 28, 2021: A Special Messsage Regarding Trash Collection

June 28, 2021

 

A Special Message From Metro Service Group Regarding Trash Collection  

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

 

Thank you for your continued patience as we at Metro and other local sanitation companies seek to improve our collections performance and recruit new drivers to help us collect at the more than 70,000 homes we service three times per week. While no delays are good and all delays are inconvenient for our customers, we have in fact made significant progress in addressing delayed routes and are frequently on or close to on schedule on some days.  The company has also made progress in recruiting additional drivers in a very competitive employment environment. As you know from the significant number of restaurants and other businesses around town that remain closed or are operating on reduced hours, employee recruitment is a challenge for all in the various service industries. Many of our peers in the waste collection business are feeling this pinch too.  Still, we are continuing to engage local staffing services, and are working hard to incent former Metro drivers to return to work so we can meet our longstanding commitment to the people of New Orleans.

 

We apologize to those customers whose collections have been delayed more than the city’s established 24-hour window for pick-ups, and are grateful for the patience many people have shown as we have worked through these challenges.

 

As appropriate, this website will continue to provide new information as it is made available.

 

Jimmie Woods for Metro Service Group, Inc

June 16, 2021: A Special Message Regarding Trash Collection

June 16, 2021

 

A Special Message From Metro Service Group Regarding Trash Collection  

 

Dear Neighbors:

 

Metro Service Group continues to make progress in recruiting additional drivers and catching up on various routes.  We sympathize fully with those residents who have experienced a delay in garbage pickup service. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we are working 24/7 to expedite a return to regularized and on-time collections. In the meantime, we are grateful for the patience many people have shown as we work through these challenges. 

Regardless of the level of frustration you may have, we would ask that you show the hard-working men and women of Metro and the other companies that collect trash and recycling in the city the highest level of respect during this difficult time.

 

Our Progress

 

Over last weekend, we temporarily reassigned drivers from our operations in Mississippi who worked tirelessly to ensure pick-ups at thousands of houses in several neighborhoods. Additionally, new fulltime drivers have also been recruited and we are doubling down on our efforts to enlist staffing agencies and other resources to provide additional labor.

We are grateful for the support of some of our peers in the sanitation industry, Richards, Ramelli and Waste Pro, who recognize that this is an acute national problem that has hit home here in New Orleans over the last several weeks. For more on why this situation is happening here and the national context of a shortage of sanitation workers please consider the following:

 

THE PANDEMIC EFFECT: WORKERS MATTER

 

Several residents have asked why we cannot simply hire anyone who might be looking for a job.  Here’s why: Our shortage is in qualified drivers, not hoppers.  By law, and based on the demands of our insurance carrier, all drivers must have a clean driving record, a Commercial Driver’s License and two years of experience driving a commercial truck.  They must also pass all required drug and alcohol tests.  With many people still not returning to work following the pandemic, the pool of qualified drivers is limited, and competition is very steep. This article further demonstrates the acute national challenges many cities and companies are facing:

 

Roundup: Driver shortages hamper local waste collection, US recycling infrastructure begs $17B expansion

We are continuing to update our website (metroservicegroup.com) and invite the public to monitor the site for new information as it is made available.  

 

Again, from the women and men of Metro Service Group, Inc., thank you for your patience as we seek to recruit additional drivers and get back to business as usual, on time collections and clean streets.

 

Jimmie Woods for Metro Service Group, Inc

June 11, 2021: A Special Message Regarding Trash Collection

 

A Special Message From Metro Service Group Regarding Trash Collection  

 

Dear Neighbors –

 

Some of you may be experiencing periodic delays in trash pickup in your neighborhood. Please know that we are acutely aware of these delays, that we share your concerns and that we are doing everything possible to correct the situation and stay on schedule in keeping your neighborhood clean.  Please know also that what is happening in parts of New Orleans is happening all over the country in different cities.

 

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-orange-county-solid-waste-pickup-delays-20210604-a43smhzhebb25got3f25a3yk3u-story.html

 

https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/2021/06/03/commercial-driver-shortages-delay-south-jersey-recycling-collections/7501829002/

 

While this is not intended as an excuse, it is important to understand the context of the staffing shortages we are currently having.  Note too that the local sanitation community is not the only industry facing these challenges.  City government itself is short staffed as the recent announcement of reduced hours for NORD swimming pools (due to a lack of lifeguards) demonstrates. And as I’m sure you’ve seen, many local restaurants are still closed or are operating on reduced hours coming out of the pandemic.  Unfortunately, as a sanitation company with a public contract to serve our neighbors, we have no such flexibility, and must do our best to meet our contractual obligation to you as a resident, and to the city.

 

Our contract requires us to pick up from residences within 24-hours of the scheduled pick-up day.  In the vast majority of instances we are still on schedule to do so, despite the challenging staffing shortages.

 

Why Is Pickup Delayed In Some Areas?

 

Delays are limited and are not citywide.  Delays are often less than 24-hours and are based largely on an absence of qualified drivers as we emerge from the pandemic.  By law, all drivers have to qualify and meet certain rigid standards.  That limits the “pool” of candidates for driver positions.

 

The huge increase in the volume of trash to be picked up during the pandemic means that crews are spending more time at individual households.  And importantly, while many other cities around the US have suspended recycling programs, New Orleans has not, which forces Metro and other city waste   to continue picking up at all residences three days a week instead of two.  These are all contributing factors toward periodic delays.

 

What Is Metro Doing About It?

 

Since the very first day of delays, we have been in on-going conversations with other sanitation companies in the entire SE Louisiana area to explore ways to subcontract or share workers.  Because they, too, have staffing challenges or other obligations they need to meet, collaborating and sharing workers has been difficult.  Still, we have had some success. In fact, just on Wednesday June 9th we were able to add four new trucks and crews to help catch up.  We have also brought in teams from our company operations in Mississippi and elsewhere to help increase our staffing pool and will continue to work to add new crews wherever possible. We are also in daily contact with local and regional staffing companies to recruit new workers to help fill these voids.  

 

How Long Might This Last?

 

We are being as aggressive and creative as possible to solve these delays and meet your expectations but cannot project a specific timeline, especially as we know other local companies are beginning to experience challenges too.  

 

At Metro, we have served the city and its residents well for over 16-years, bringing immense value and quality service to the community.  We are grateful for the confidence the city and its people have shown us for so long and are striving to maintain your trust and confidence as we work through these challenging times.  Please be as patient as possible, and please continue to show the highest levels of respect for the hard working men and women working our routes and all the sanitation routes in the city.

 

Again, please accept our apologies for any concern or inconvenience these delays may be causing you and your family, and thank you for your patience as we work through these staffing and service delay challenges.

 

Jimmie Woods

For the Woods Family and Metro Service Group

March 24, 2017: City of New Orleans new cart announcement

Cart Announcement

February 9, 2017: Pickup Schedule and Collection Guidelines

 

September 2014: MSG opens CNG plant, says "Hello" to the future & "Good-Bye" to the gas pump!
Metro Service Group, Inc. held a ribbon cutting for its Compressed Natural Gas plant September 29, 2014 with Special Guests U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Congressman Cedric Richmond, and Councilman James Gray

  

September 30, 2014

 DISPOSAL COMPANY INTRODUCES FUELING STATION TO LOWER COSTS, CREATE JOBS

 A new fueling station for the Metro Disposal Services truck fleet could be a game changer for the city.

Casey Ferrand, WDSU 6 News New Orleans

 

 

September 29, 2014

NEW ORLEANS EAST COMPANY SAYS "GOOD-BYE" TO THE GASOLINE PUMP

The future has come to the Metro Service Group yard off Old Gentilly Road in Eastern New Orleans.

John Snell, WVUE FOX8 New Orleans
 

WASTE COLLECTION

Trash pick up days...
will remain the same. See the map below.
 
Bulky Waste

Place your bulky items next to your cart on your second collection day.

For your convenience, here’s a list of approved bulky items:

  1. Tree limbs and branches less than four feet in length and two (2) feet in diameter, neatly bundled.
  2. Metal materials weighing twenty-five (25) pounds or less.
  3. Pipe less than one (1) inch in diameter and less than four (4) feet in length.
  4. Manufactured items, including, but not limited to, furniture and appliances.
  5. Bagged leaves, weeds, grass, small vegetation clippings and hedge clippings.
  6. White goods.
  7. Twenty-five pounds or less of construction and demolition solid waste generated by a resident properly containerized and/or bundled.
  8. Cardboard boxes.
  9. Carpet less than four (4) feet in length, rolled and tied.
  10. Tires; maximum of four (4) tires per scheduled, second collection.

Yard Waste

Yard waste such as leaves and grass clipping should be bagged and placed next to the cart on the Second collection day. Yard waste items are tree limbs, grass clippings, shrubs, etc. Tree limbs should be bundled in 4-foot lengths, weighing no more than 75 pounds. Residents who set out yard waste more than 24 hours before their scheduled pick-up will be subject to a fine.

Dead Animals

Dogs, cats, and other small animals will only be collected from households and small businesses if the animal is put in a bag and brought to the curb for collection with solid waste. In the event that such animals are discovered on City streets, contact 311 or the Customer Service Center at (504) 520-8331 to have the animal removed.

CART REGISTRATION

TO REGISTER FOR A CART PLEASE USE THIS FORM.

Name:*
Address:*
Phone:*
-
E-mail:
Location is a:*
Property Type:*
Do you:*
Check if you are disabled:

(sanitation collection)

(recycling collection)

 

we were unable to pick up your item or trash pile or recycling for one of the following reasons:

  1. Items must be secured in bundles.
  2. Items must be 4 feet in length.
  3. Items must be less than 2 feet in diameter.
  4. Items must be less than 75 pounds in weight.
  5. Loose material must be in garbage cans, bags or other approved containers.
  6. Items must be placed curbside for collection.
  7. Plastics #3 - #7, wax board (juice boxes/milk cartons) and plastic bags are no longer accepted.

RECYCLING

Resident Recycling

For your convenience, here’s a list of approved recycling items:

 

  1. Paper products including office paper, newspapers and color inserts, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, paperboard boxes (including cereal boxes, freezer boxes, twelve (12) pack soft drink boxes and other food/snack boxes), telephone books and corrugated cardboard.
  2. Plastic food and beverage containers coded #1 through #7, plastic pots from plant nurseries.
  3. Small aluminum, steel and ferrous metal food containers and lids.

 Recycling Do's

 

TIPS...

 

  • Please keep your carts CLEAN.
  • RINSE OUT food containers before placing in cart.

 

PLACE YOUR RECYCLING BIN NEXT TO YOUR CART ON YOUR COLLECTION DAY. CONTACT OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER FOR MORE INFORMATION (504) 520-8331.

 

Commercial Recycling

Metro Service Group provides cost-efficient, environmentally sound recycling programs and services for municipalities, school districts, businesses and households throughout the gulf coast region. Metro has provided innovative recycling solutions for the City of New Orleans, McDonalds, Wendy’s and Rite-Aid just to name a few.

Whether you’re recycling paper, plastic, glass, aluminum or cardboard, Metro prides itself in putting into action the latest single-stream and sorting technologies, making recycling programs easy and cost-effective.

FAQs Coming Soon...

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September 20, 2021

 

 

To the Citizens of New Orleans from Jimmie M. Woods, Sr., and Metro Service Group, Inc.

 

 

First and foremost, let me apologize to you and your family, on behalf of me and my family for the frustrations and anger you may have regarding the continued delays in collecting your household waste.  As a resident of Orleans Parish, if you’re a homeowner, you pay your monthly sanitation fee in the expectation that you’ll receive timely service. Nothing disappoints me and the Metro team more than being behind on our routes and adding to your frustrations, especially in these very challenging times. We take great pride in having won the low bid contract several years to provide sanitation services in your neighborhood.  Let me assure you that we have been and are continuing to do everything we can to increase our staffing and get back to the record of on-time and professional service the people have come to expect over these past 16 years.

 

Before I address the steps we have taken and are taking let me be clear about the problems themselves as there seems to be some misunderstanding and some misinformation in this regard.  Our challenges are five fold and relate largely to the absence of drivers rather than an absence of “hoppers” for each truck. By law, all drivers must meet certain standards, have a commercial driver’s license and pass company tests to qualify for employment.  Some applicants meet these conditions but many don’t. The pool of interested and qualified applicants is limited at the beginning of the employment process. The driver shortage is a national problem, and not just for sanitation companies.  In Massachusetts the state’s National Guardsmen and women are now driving school buses due to the absence of drivers.  While this likely won’t make you feel any better about what is happening locally, it does help provide needed context that many people have overlooked or ignored.

 

Challenge number two continues to be the impact of Covid which often limits the number of drivers available for our routes.  While we have encouraged our drivers to become vaccinated some have chosen not to and periodically Covid results in unexpected short staffing.

 

Challenge number three is a direct result of Hurricane Ida which has displaced many of our employees and in some cases damaged their places of residence and their property.  Prior to Ida and despite the pandemic, Metro had made significant progress in on-time pick-ups over the past 3-4 months.  Complaints to Metro and the city’s 311 line had largely dropped and we were positioned to fully turn the corner and get back to high performance business as usual.  Now, regrettably of course for you as a resident, we are in an even more difficult position.

 

An additional challenge relates to competition itself.  While we raised our starting pay for drivers to $17 per hour, competition for commercial drivers is very steep with the huge increase in door to door delivery services which can often offer better hours and pay that is not encumbered by the limitations of a low bid government contract.

 

Lastly and related directly to Ida is the sheer volume of waste to be collected.  Not since Hurricane Katrina has the volume been higher, helping to make a perfect storm of challenges that we and all the local sanitation companies in Orleans and around south Louisiana are struggling to overcome. Our trucks are forced to halt collections every few blocks and make a very long round trip to the city’s only landfill to offload, tying up valuable time that could be spent collecting your trash. 

 

Now, let me address the steps we have taken to tackle the staffing problem and restore timely pick-up in your neighborhood:

 

  • We have brought in trucks from our Mississippi operations and housed workers in local hotels to assist with the routes; 

 

  • We have subcontracted at our own expense with other waste management companies to assist with employee shortages. In point of fact, we pay our outside contractor more than the city pays us;

 

  • We have entered into a partnership with the Louisiana WorkForce Commission and the City of New Orleans Job One Program, that will assist with employment recruiting and advertising, CDL licensure and diesel mechanic certifications;

 

  • We have increased the starting hourly rate for truck drivers to $17 per hour, as well as for our certified diesel mechanics with hourly rates up to $46 per hour, technicians with hourly rates up to $28 per hour and tire repair personnel with hourly rates up to $30 per hour;

 

  • We have implemented a hiring bonus program for new employees; and

 

  • Every day we are exploring creative measures to attract and retain personnel including internal and external recruiting efforts.

 

While I personally know that having missed or delayed trash pick-ups is not acceptable for any resident, I am asking you to bear with us as we continue to strive to provide the excellent service that you have become accustomed to. Also know that Metro is doing everything possible to rectify the current situation in a quick and efficient manner. We are attacking this issue tirelessly on behalf of our fellow New Orleanians.

 

Jimmie M. Woods, Sr.

Please see FAQS in the news tab below for more information and answers to questions you may have.

 

About Metro Services Group
Metro Service Group, located in New Orleans, is a multi-faceted corporation with specific expertise and certifications in the areas of commercial and residential sanitation environmental services, construction and demolition, disaster response and recovery.  Founded in 1982 by brothers Glenn and Jimmie Woods, Metro has grown from a single axle rear loading truck into a major industrial services firm.  Metro Services Group is one of two minority owned sanitation providers contracted with the City of New Orleans for residential waste removal and recycling. Metro Services Group has business operations throughout southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi.