311 service error to blame for uncollected trash

311 details not passed along to workers

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - When Chris Pietrangelo moved in his Central Gardens home, he didn’t know where the trash behind it came from. His neighbors didn’t either.

Resident Randell Ellis wanted it gone. He sent one complaint after another to the city’s 311 complaint site for two years.

The city repeatedly acknowledged receipt of his complaints and repeatedly listed the complaint closed. However, the mattresses, tires and trash remained.

Ellis was persistent with dozens and dozens of complaints.

At one point, crews wrote they couldn't find the debris.

It was a mystery why it was never picked up.

The city discovered a problem with the SeeClickFix website, which feeds information to the 311 system.

Crews could not see the notations about the problem on their devices, even though there were plenty of descriptions and photos of the debris.

"So when instructions said to go to the back of the home, they were not seeing that portion of it, they were going to the house going to the front of the house," Chief Communications Officer Ursula Madden said.

The debris has since been picked up, which is something Pietrangelo appreciates.

"It looks beautiful. I'm glad it's gone," Pietrangelo said.

Madden suggests calling the city’s 311 line, if a resident isn't satisfied.

She says the last thing they want is for citizens to be upset with city services.

"They deserve to have because they pay for them with their tax dollars," Madden said.

The city is working on a fix for the problem of crews not seeing the notes about the problem.

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