ADVERTISEMENT Zurik: City says priority is getting trash picked up, not mixing trash with debris

By WBOK Staff

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans provided few answers Tuesday in response to a FOX 8 Lee Zurik Investigation that found the city’s contractor in charge of specifically collecting trash not associated with Hurricane Ida, was collecting nearly everything found on the street, including storm debris.

FOX 8′s cameras found the contractor, Ceres Environmental, picking up what appeared to be storm-related debris in Lakeview. But the contractor plans to bill the city as if the debris was regular trash, costing taxpayers about four times more money. Three sources say what we saw was categorized as construction and demolition debris being picked up in different parts of the city.

“There’s no reason the city would let this happen. It’s not in the city’s best interest,” Tulane Law Professor Joel Friedman said. “So why are they letting it happen? My only answer is they don’t know.”

When FOX 8 reached out for comment on our story on Monday, the city provided a statement and said they would provide further at their weekly press conference on Tuesday. At that press conference, the city’s communications director, Beau Tidwell, said he had seen the FOX 8 Investigation and said it was “working really hard to find bad news in a good news situation.”

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