Turns out Lafayette Consolidated Government was prescient in contracting with Allied Waste to provide the city’s residents with gigantic 96-gallon garbage cans, or “Smart Carts.” While residents have complained the blue boxes are “big, awkward and heavy,” their volume allows households to increase the amount of garbage each family discards. Ordinarily sending more garbage to landfills increases fees the city has to pay to the waste hauler. However, garbage is about to change its image.

In a press release issued Monday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, federal officials announced they will be building all the state’s hurricane protection levees out of garbage. “After studying models for the past century, we have determined that putrescible waste, rather than heavy clays, is the ultimate weapon against storm surges,” says Corps General James Poubelle. In order to meet time lines before hurricane season begins on June 1, the federal government has directed the nation’s waste haulers to send all their loads to Louisiana. “Your levees will be safe,” states Poubelle, “because we’re building them out of garbage.”

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