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When we got back from our trip Sunday, one of the first things I noticed was that damn canister is still sitting there next to the curb just a few feet from our house. The canister doesn’t directly impinge upon us, but it kind of junks up the area. I had hoped against hope that someone would have taken responsibility for disposing of this thing properly while we were gone. Alas, not the case.

(You do remember the mysterious canister, right? I wrote about it a couple months ago.)

As I was unloading the car, I happened to notice Maria Santana was visiting her rental properties. I caught her attention, pointed to the canister, and asked her: “Is that yours?”


I shrugged and carried on about my business. On my next trip out to the car, I asked her a follow-up question: “Do you know whose it is?”

It seemed like a reasonable question to me. But she responded by biting my head off. She told me to mind my own business and dressed me down for a good minute. I could hardly get a word in edgewise, but I tried. Eventually she asked me why I would think she had anything to do with the canister. I pointed out that the canister appeared to be full of white paint, and it materialized right next to a house that she owns on the same day that it was painted white. Purely circumstantial, of course. I didn’t mention some of her tenants had fingered her as the culprit — she evicted those folks, so I could imagine her response.

She denied any wrongdoing, but she continued to yell at me so vociferously that I only tended to suspect her all the more. In any case, it became abundantly clear that she is not a very nice person. Maybe she’s still mad about her confrontation with Xy three years ago.

The canister is still there and shows no signs of moving. I really don’t know what to do about it at this point. It’s too heavy for me to move, and I don’t know where I’d take it anyway. I guess it will just sit there forever.

Published inNeighborsNew Orleans


  1. Lee Lee

    Not to take her side, but as the slumlord that she is I don’t think she would purchase 55 gallons of paint and not take responsibility for it, that’s a lot of dough!

    I don’t have much knowledge of NOLA’s practices, but is there a city department you could call about it? It may be a shot in the dark, but I’m sure there would be a big fine for the owner of it which may entice the city to take action.

  2. Want me to grab the truck and we can bring it to Maria’s house? I’ve got some tie-downs, a dolly, and I can get some 2 x 4’s for a ramp. We can deliver right to her doorstep. She complains, tell her to move it.

  3. Frank Schiavo Frank Schiavo

    Not to ask for more trouble than it may be worth or maybe suggest something you already tried, but you could call the citie’s 311 number to see if they can have it removed as storm related trash. I mean, you and the city would not want that lying around if there was a storm or very bad flooding to hit the area and this seems like just the kind of thing 311 was for–plus the citie’s website says to call in this kind of instance–

    Good luck.

  4. Just for kicks I called 311 as per Frank’s suggestion. I quoted the page on the city’s website — which says “We’ll get it” and “To report debris problems in New Orleans, dial 311” — but nevertheless I was told the city doesn’t have a debris pickup program. She did take some info, though, as an illegal dumping report.

    I also called the Louisiana DEQ’s Litter Hotline, at the suggestion of my friend Daisy, but they just ask you to leave a message with the license plate number of the offending vehicle.

    I tried calling the Green Project to see if they’d pick it up but they’re having trouble with their phones and I can’t get through.

    I like Clay’s idea too. She appears to live in an apartment complex in Metairie. Wouldn’t it be fun to drop the object off in that parking lot? But I’m afraid I am not that confident that Maria is the culprit. I’m pretty sure, but not to the point of taking action like that.

  5. daisy daisy

    Okay so it seemed easiest 4u to call 800 LITRBUG. I know the type of complaint you realy want to file wiht the DEQ is a single point of contact. If you give them you name and number they WILL follow up with you on waht action will ba taken. 225-219-3640 is the phone number I call (had i not had so many beers last night i woudl hve rememebred the number was in my cell phone.!@#&*@/@) There is an online form for you internet techies out there…..
    also a 888-763-5424
    I DO LIKE CLAYS IDEA TOO – but you neer know they could trace the scna code on the drum back to her!

  6. I have another idea for you. It’s not the nicest idea, but it has worked for me in the past (over on Conti St.) There was an abandoned car with four flat tires, expired inspection stickers (4-5 years out of date), tow stickers all over it, and Mississippi plates. It clearly had been there for some time. Several calls were made to have the offending vehicle picked up. It never was. So late one night several of us managed to lift and rotate the car so that it sort of blocked the road. When we called to report an abandoned car blocking the road, it was gone the next day. I am not proud of this, but it was effective. Maybe you could move the drum closer to the middle of the street. Someone may take a little more notice…

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