Courtney Young President/CEO ForeSight Communications
In the aftermath of Hurricane IDA, residents of New Orleans are struggling to deal with the putrid-smelling trash that is overwhelming the city. It’s been almost 4 weeks since the hurricane and nearly 1/3 of the residents, approximately 130,000 people, are still without trash pickup.
In a public address on September 16th, Mayor LaToya Cantrell acknowledged the city-wide crisis, stating that overflowing landfills and the shortage of sanitation workers are among the many obstacles the city is facing. The city had already been struggling with the sanitation labor shortage before the hurricane and has been unable to catch up since.
Many residents have watched as garbage trucks have driven right past their homes, neglecting to pick up their trash at all while the garbage continues to pile up. Others have been lucky enough to get a bag or two picked up, making a small dent in the ever-growing heaps on their curbs.
There are also concerns that the growing trash piles could pose health risks to residents in the area. The piles have been sitting in the heat for weeks, increasing the chances of attracting rodents and vermin while exposing the residents to harmful bacteria. Because of the hurricane, there is also the risk that hazardous waste could be among the lingering trash, another cause for concern to the surrounding community.
In an effort to restore hope, the local community has united to help clean up the city. As the city’s sanitation department struggles to make a dent in the estimated 54,000 tons of trash and debris, new organizations are stepping forward to aid the residents.
Volunteers from the United Fellowship Full Gospel Baptist Church, Rock of Ages Baptist Church, and State Representative Royce Duplessis have joined forces with The Madina Group to help relieve the community of their excess trash. Volunteers have been hosting community trash drop-offs at different locations across the city, including Pontchartrain Park, Vascoville, and 7th Ward.
“We are cleaning up the city because we don’t want people to lose hope. We are fighting for the soul of New Orleans” said President and CEO Telley Madina of The Medina Group, one of the leading organizations in the effort to rid the city of its trash.
Support Your Community
We encourage residents, churches, and community organizations to coordinate volunteers in your area to help clean up the trash in your local community.
Our next effort will be Saturday, September 25th at 9am, starting at St. Augustine High School. Address: 2600 AP Tureaud Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
If you’re looking to volunteer, text 504-201-0560 for more information.