City responds to big stink over trash collection delays - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City responds to big stink over trash collection delays

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Penny-pinching to keep city garbage fees from rising has led to a stinky problem for some Memphis residents.

They say the city's new garbage collection company, All Star Waste, isn't doing its job.

"It's very frustrating," said resident John Shea. "You're paying a monthly fee, and they're supposed to be coming out once a week. And you're paying for that each month, but yet they don't show up."

Shea says his garbage hasn't been picked up for two weeks, and that debris left behind by last month's storms is still sitting on his curb.

"It gets to be a health hazard after a while," he said.

City council members have been flooded with complaints, and public works director Dwan Gilliam says he's well aware of the problem.

"Fiscal constraints forced us into some of the changes that are taking place," he said. "We don't look at it from a negative perspective. We look at it as a challenge."

All Star Waste uses a mechanical arm instead of two sanitation workers to haul trash containers.
Gilliom says that if the city didn't use All Star, garbage fees would have increased.

He says the new company will save the city $3.5 million a year, and more than $20 million over the length of the contract.

But Shea says the service is inefficient. "We see the truck coming down the street picking up the canned trash. But what about the debris?"

Gilliam explains that after the automated truck picks up trash, a city truck comed along to haul away everything else.

The new company serves 35,000 residents. And Giliam asks them to be patient because the change will be good in the long run, he says.

"The crews are going to need some extra time to learn the routes because we have basically rerouted the entire city."

He says crews are working overtime to get things back in order.

Click here to get your solid waste collection schedule.


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