Neighborhoods endure another week without trash pickup

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - More than a week after Mayor Jim Strickland promised action for areas neglected by the city’s trash contractor many neighbors tell us they still aren’t seeing results.

Waste Pro, the company that wants out of its contract with the city, is supposed to pick up their garbage with the help of the city. Those citizens want answers from the mayor.

“They were out here Saturday,” said Cordova resident, Bill McNease.

More: Cordova residents angry with garbage pickup services, mayor vows to correct issue

McNease thought for sure his garbage would finally be picked up after almost a month. If you look around his neighborhood you can see it did not happen. Garbage is overflowing on street after street.

“I knew you’d be back here looking. Why? How did yin know? I just knew you’re going to follow up in your stuff,” said McNease.

Last week, McNease showed me how he had to use his neighbor’s empty garbage can, with his neighbor’s permission. Now that is full.

Paula Rice, who lives about eight minutes away, did have her garbage picked up by, she believes, city sanitation crews working overtime trying to help Waste Pro catch up.

“It was picked up Saturday morning about 8,” said Rice.

She said she was very pleased with their solid work.

More: Waste Pro customers outraged as trash piles for two weeks

“They did a great job. They came out here, picked it up. They didn’t leave any trash in the street and they were very very nice,” she said.

Waste Pro sent out a news release to the media saying the company wanted to end its contract with the city. The city was not notified. When Strickland found out he gave Waste Pro a notice to fix the problem, called a notice to cure in 20 days or be in violation of the contract.

“We’re still asking them to do the job they were contracted to do,” said Memphis City Councilman Ford Canale. “We’ve had to use city resources to fill in the gaps. So on April 10th when the notice to cure expires, we’ll reevaluate and see where we go from there.”

The city sent me a statement saying Waste Pro and city crews are “actively working together in efforts to help alleviate some of the backlog.” Canale says if the city decides to end its contract with Waste Pro, there are companies that can help pick up garbage until a decision is made for a permanent solution.

More: Waste Pro wants to terminate contract with City of Memphis

Rice is running out of patience.

“Whoever is in charge of it, they need to get it taken care of now,” she said.

The city also said in the statement sent to me that it knows residents are frustrated but the city is working diligently to get the problem solved permanently.

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