Like revelers waiting for a parade that will never come or sign wavers on Election Day, the obsolete green trash bins have begun congregating on the Uptown neutral ground and street corners, abandoned in ever more prominent places by residents frustrated with the slow pace of their removal.
City work crews began delivering new black trash cans or removing the old green ones in March, often surprising residents with their sudden appearance or disappearance. Months later, however, many of the old green ones have yet to be removed, and residents tired of waiting have begun taking increasingly extreme measures to get them noticed.
Residents in the Lower Garden District drew attention after they labeled theirs as “Confederate monuments,” hoping the city would drag them away with the same zeal they have the monuments to P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis and the white-supremacist Battle of Liberty Place. Other satirical slogans now adorning the old trash cans are “Mitch for President.”
Meanwhile, on Napoleon Avenue, many of the cans have been dragged out to the neutral ground. Rick Schatz, president of the Delachaise Neighborhood Association, said he recently complained to the city’s Department of Sanitation about the abandoned trash cans lining public thoroughfares.
“They’re supposed to pick up the old ones,” Schatz said. “The idea was to give you a new one and take the old one, but everything got screwed up.”
Schatz did not advise members of the association to leave them in public rights-of-way, but did say to keep calling 311 to report them. Others suggested leaving the cans upside down, so passers-by won’t toss trash in them and potentially slow their removal further.