NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Lawyers for waste management company, Metro Service Group, Inc., announced Thursday that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court, saying the filing could have been avoided. whether the Cantrell administration had not violated the terms of its contract with the city.
The company says the filing was necessary to protect contractual and employee rights.
It comes after numerous Metro service disruptions, which the company has blamed on the administration’s refusal to adequately respond to ’emergencies’ caused by ‘excess tonnage’ of trash during the pandemic and after Hurricane Ida. .
Metro specifically blames Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s pandemic stay-at-home order for producing more residential trash and excess spoiled food after Hurricane Ida knocked out the city’s power for days.
The company said it gave written recommendations on how the city could handle residential pickup during the pandemic, but said there was no response.
According to Metro’s press release announcing the bankruptcy filing, here are the issues that the Cantrell administration has not addressed:
- Since 2017, Metro has collected garbage from 5,000 homes, per month for which Metro is not compensated, although the City does collect a monthly garbage fee from those same homes.
- Failing to pay Metro for excess tonnage Metro collected during declared Pandemic and Hurricane Ida emergencies. Under its contract, Metro must receive an additional $250 per ton for each ton over 6,495 tons it collects in its service area for a month. Despite Metro’s repeated requests to pay for excess tonnage it collected during the pandemic and after Hurricane Ida, the administration failed to pay Metro for the work it performed.
- Metro believes that the administration acted in bad faith by re-contracting work with Metro until March 31, 2024, and that the cost to ratepayers will be approximately an additional $8 million per year, which begs the question. why New Orleans taxpayers are going to be required to pay new contractors excessively more than what Metro received for the exact same job.
WGNO News reporter Anna McAllister questioned Mayor Cantrell on Thursday about Metro’s announcement.
Cantrell replied, “I haven’t heard that yet.”
Metro said it will continue to collect trash in Lakeview, New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward and Gentilly while the company’s case is in bankruptcy court.
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