UPDATE: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced on Friday that existing haulers Richard's Disposal and Metro Disposal Services will receive new seven-year recycling and refuse collection contracts in New Orleans, as reported by WDSU. The contracts will begin in April 2017 and run until 2024 with the option for three one-year extensions. The city expects to save $4 million in the first year and $5 million in every subsequent year.
- New Orleans is expected to announce the awards of its two main residential collection contracts — which were worth more than $27 million in 2016 — with the hopes of saving at least $4 million, as reported by The New Orleans Advocate.
- While contract terms have been periodically amended, this is the first time that collection has been re-bid since Richard's Disposal and Metro Disposal Services were selected after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Those two companies have bid again, along with Ramelli Waste and international company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas.
- New requirements in these contracts include employers paying the city's required living wage of at least $10.55 per hour and using collection vehicles that are no more than two years old. The new contracts will begin on April 1, 2017.
The city saw an annual savings of $475,000 when it re-bid the third residential contract — which covers the French Quarter and Central Business District — and awarded it to Empire Janitorial Sales and Services last year. That contract was previously held by "trash king" Sidney Torres IV before his company was acquired by IESI in 2011. Torres recently returned to the business with a new company called IV Waste but is now focusing on commercial customers.
Due in part to the long-lasting effects of Katrina, the city's waste system has experienced some challenges in recent years. Glass recycling only became available again for the first time last fall and has seen a low participation rate so far. Over the summer, a report from the city's inspector general also found that $7 million in sanitation fees had been going uncollected since 2014.
These two new contracts will mark one of the final turning points in the city's reestablishment of its waste system post-Katrina and also put it on par with new contracts in other cities. Los Angeles is going a step further by setting specific clean fuel requirements for trucks in its proposed franchise contracts and similar standards have also been discussed by franchise advocates in New York.