New Orleans discontinuing French Quarter daily evening solid waste collection May 1

Trash in the 500 block of Bourbon Street on the morning of March 8. Photo by Tony Webster | CC Flickr.

Daily evening solid waste collection services in the French Quarter will be discontinued on May 1, although morning trash and recycling collection will still continue at various locations serviced by the city.

Evening solid waste pickup in the French Quarter, which occurred between 4 and 6 p.m. each day, will cease on Friday at eligible locations in the French Quarter and Downtown Development District, according to New Orleans spokeswoman LaTonya Norton.

Morning solid waste collection, however, will still continue to run between 4 and 8 a.m. every day and recycling will continue at eligible locations between 4 and 8 a.m. on Tuesdays.

Metairie-based Empire Services provides trash collection services in the French Quarter and DDD, according to the New Orleans Department of Sanitation website.

The reduction in trash service comes as the vast majority of French Quarter businesses were forced to close after Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation on March 22 to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The business closures have led to a significant decrease in the vast amounts of trash that’s normally generated each night and a level of consistent cleanliness in the French Quarter that hasn’t been seen in years, or possibly ever.

With the existing trash services, however, the city reminded eligible French Quarter residents to place carts and black bags curbside for collection after 4 p.m. on the day before collection and before 4 a.m. on the collection day.

Carts should be removed from sidewalks and public rights of way by 9 a.m. on collection day, Norton said.

Additionally, French Quarter residents must follow the following code requirements:

  • Trash collected for bulky waste collection for eligible residential properties on Wednesday can include up to: six secured bags of green waste or up to six bundles of tree limbs cut in four-inch lengths; metal pieces weighing no more than 25 pounds and no bigger than four inches in length; furniture, mattresses; appliances with the compressors removed; carpet pieces less than four inches in length, rolled and tied; and up to four tires.
  • Residents can call 311 to schedule a bulky waste collection of up to 15 secured bags of green waste or up to 15 bundles of tree limbs cut into four-inch lengths and other similar items. Weight limit is 50 pounds.
  • Solid waste containers or bags must be placed in front of the property generating the waste and not block pedestrian or vehicular rights of way.
  • Property owners and tenants are responsible for removing solid waste on their premises, including the area extending one-and-a-half-feet from the curb into the street.
  • No one can sweep, blow or pour items into storm drains.
  • Permanent dumpsters must be screened from public view.
  • Signs cannot be placed on public rights of way, such as on neutral grounds, utility posts or between the sidewalk and the curb.

Call 311 to report any sanitation-related issues or visit nola.gov/sanitation for more information.

City to French Quarter residents: give us your recycled Christmas trees on Jan. 8 to help restore Louisiana’s coastline

skooksie via Flickr | CC

French Quarter residents on Wednesday are encouraged by city officials to recycle their Christmas trees in an effort to help restore Louisiana’s coastline.

Residents in the French Quarter, who are serviced by Empire Services, must place their trees at the location of their regular garbage collection before 4 a.m. on Jan. 8, said city spokeswoman LaTonya Norton.

Coastal restoration — producing barrier islands, marshes and swamps along the coast — is crucial to reducing incoming storm surge and flooding, according to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).

The CPRA estimates that, without mitigating action, the Louisiana coastline could use up to 4,120 square miles in the next 50 years.

The trees help slow erosion, trap sediment and provide a buffer to slow down waves while keeping them out of landfills, according to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Only natural, unflocked trees that are free of all strands and trimming — including ornaments, tinsel, lights, tree stands, etc. — can be recycled, Norton added. Unflocked trees are those without artificial frosting.

Flocked and artificial trees and trees in bags, or trees with trimming that has not been removed, will be collected with garbage and transported to the landfill, Norton said, adding that trees should not be placed on the neutral grounds because it delays the collection process.

Many New Orleans residents are now in the process of disposing their trees following Twelfth Night, which signifies the end of the Christmas holiday and marking the beginning of the Mardi Gras season.

The effort to restore the coastline with recycled Christmas trees is a collaboration between the city’s Department of Sanitation and its solid waste contractors, the Louisiana National Guard and the city’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, which funds the project, Norton said.

The agencies will work together to collect, sort and bundle trees, which will be placed in selected coastal zones, Norton said.

In 2019, more than 6,000 Christmas trees were collected in Orleans Parish after the holidays. They were airlifted by the Louisiana National Guard into Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge as part of a program to create new marsh habitat.