Residents and small businesses in unincorporated Jefferson Parish and the town of Jean Lafitte have begun receiving wheeled garbage containers, part of a new semi-automated garbage collection system touted as cleaner, quieter and easier for users.
The green, 95-gallon carts began arriving at homes, apartments and small businesses Monday and will continue to do so until Sept. 15 as Progressive Waste Solutions modifies its fleet of trucks to include mechanical arms to hoist the bins and dump their contents into the vehicles.
Marnie Winter, director of the parish’s Department of Environmental Affairs, said residents can begin using the new carts for twice-a-week garbage collection as soon as they are delivered.
“It’s pretty much the method of collection being used in most municipalities,” Winter said. “It’s cleaner. It has an attached lid and wheels. The lid prevents litter from blowing out of the can and stops odors.”
The new system is part of a 10-year contract the parish negotiated with Progressive that took effect Jan. 1.
The monthly fee for garbage and recycling remains $15.61 per month, though residents now will pay for both services through their water bill. In the two years since recycling was reintroduced in Jefferson Parish, the $1.59 fee for that service has come from property tax collections.
The trucks will still have two workers riding on the back to take care of trash that can’t be grabbed by the mechanical arms, though Winter said they won’t have to do nearly as much lifting.
Carts should be placed in a level spot by the curb, with the arrow on the lid pointing toward the street and 3 feet of clearance in all directions.
The parish said the new bins, which hold the equivalent of three standard trash cans, will be the only acceptable container for garbage collection other than heavy-duty bags for yard debris.
Residents and business owners should bag and tie all household trash items before putting them in the carts.
Progressive will continue to pick up bulk items such as furniture and appliances once a week on the currently designated day — the first collection day of the week for East Jefferson and the second for West Jefferson.
Recycling collection will still be provided once per week, with the same guidelines as before.
The parish’s four drop-off sites also remain available, with containers at 400 David Drive in Metairie and 6440 Lapalco Blvd. in Marrero for residents who want to recycle their old garbage cans.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.