NEW ORLEANS – (May 30, 2019) – It’s the type of service you rarely think about until it’s truly needed. Much like electricity for your home or gasoline in your vehicle, most residents may take their garbage and trash collection for granted under ordinary daily circumstances.
“Following a powerful hurricane, one of the most essential needs for a community to begin recovery is the reliable return of its most vital services,” said Tricia Farace, Waste Management community relations manager – Gulf Coast Area. “That’s why we spend a lot of time in the weeks and months prior to the start of hurricane season focusing within our company on annual hurricane preparation and recovery planning.”
The company issues public advisories to residents and businesses about storm preparation including:
BEFORE THE STORM:
• Secure garbage and recycling containers. Place empty containers in a secure location away from open spaces.
• Stop all yard maintenance and tree trimming activities when there is a named storm with a predicted landfall.
• Bundle and tie down all loose trash such as tree limbs, wood planks or building and roof tiles. Place these materials in a location where debris cannot become hazardous to homes and automobiles in high winds.
• Waste Management will continue to collect household garbage and recycling materials in the neighborhoods it serves according to designated schedules until a hurricane warning is issued.
AFTER THE STORM:
• After the storm passes, separate normal household garbage such as food refuse, diapers and regular household waste from storm debris caused by high winds, hail and rain. Storm debris including tree limbs, carpet and carpet padding, aluminum and wood fencing, and household appliances should be placed curbside in separate piles, apart from the household garbage and trash.
• Separating normal household waste from storm debris will allow Waste Management employees to collect household garbage more quickly and safely, and help prevent odors and safety hazards that would be created by mixing household garbage with storm debris. Separation is also necessary to allow Waste Management to collect normal household waste and to permit other firms to collect storm debris in accordance with arrangements made by local municipalities and/or the Parish or County with contractors independent from Waste Management.
• Waste Management will resume curbside residential collection and commercial collections as soon as it is designated to be safe to do so, on those streets that are passable. The company will expand its routes to additional areas as more streets become clear of debris and other impediments.
“After a significant storm impacts a community, there are few more welcome signs of things getting back to normal than seeing our people doing their jobs,” said Farace. “Once public safety is restored, the rapid recovery of a community begins with the startup of routine services. While contractors from other companies are contracted to pick up storm debris, we focus on restoring regular commercial collection services and household curbside collection.”
Waste Management will post updates on its website at www.wm.com/alerts as an approaching hurricane causes closures and delays, and the site is frequently updated once the hurricane passes and service returns to normal operations.
“Our value to a community is not always apparent unless collection stops,” added Farace. “Doing everything we can to prepare before, and return to service after a crisis, is what being a good community partner is all about.”