NEW ORLEANS — Anyone doing construction in the city or dealing with a burned building now has new rules to follow when it comes to debris and how quickly it must be removed from a property.
The City Council last week voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that requires “debris or rubbish” to be removed from streets and sidewalks every day, unless it is stored in an appropriate container or there is previous approval to leave it on a work site.
The ordinance, which updated existing laws regarding debris removal, puts the city in compliance with federal and state guidelines that require removal of those materials.
Any materials that might produce dust must undergo dust-suppression measures, such as keeping the materials damp if possible, in an effort to prevent airborne particles from affecting neighboring properties.
All construction material left on a site also must be placed behind fencing material that could prevent it from going into storm drains.
Any materials from upper floors of a project must be lowered to the ground level in closed receptacles or dropped down chutes that go directly into containers or trucks.
Property owners will have a minimum of 72 hours to remove debris from a house that catches on fire or any home that is demolished, according to the ordinance. Additionally, those materials can only be disposed of in appropriate landfills.
Council President Stacy Head said that the number of construction and renovations projects in the city necessitated the creation of the new requirements.
“This ordinance is a step forward and will ensure cleaner and safer sidewalks and streets,” Head said.
District C Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said the “much-needed” amendments will prevent neighborhoods from being “negatively impacted by construction and demolition debris.”
Palmer said that several projects in her district have seen neighbors having to deal with sand, trash and other materials from work sites.
“Having to fence in this debris and daily removal or containment of debris will alleviate construction and demolition hazards,” Palmer said.