MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A contractor the city of Memphis says is behind on trash pickup in Cordova and Hickory Hill is responding to a WMC Action News 5 story Wednesday night highlighting the delays. Waste Pro said the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame.
"It starts to smell. It's very frustrating. We pay to have the pickup, but it's just not happening," said Terri Davis.
Wednesday we told you how frustrated Cordova residents like Terri Davis said they've been waiting for weeks for their trash to be picked up.
The city of Memphis said they've withheld payments and fined Waste Pro, the contractor paid to haul off trash there.
In a statement Thursday, Waste Pro officials said they're pulling drivers and trucks from other markets and working six days a week to help get caught up in Memphis.
The company said a year to year April comparison showed a 35% increase in collections attributed to more people staying home amid the pandemic.
Waste Pro said the extra waste has delayed the process because trucks fill up faster and must dump at collection facilities before routes are complete.
Waste Pro was brought in after Inland Waste was fired by the city in 2018 over trash collection delays.
“We were honored to be selected to serve the City when selected for an emergency service contract in 2019. At that time (and in our bid proposal) we operated 27 trucks and today operate 27 trucks, however it is clear that the almost one-third waste increase is due to the pandemic,” wrote Sean Jennings, President of Waste Pro USA. “We apologize for any inconvenience to residents and are proud to service the City of Memphis. We ask for patience until we can get caught up with the increased waste volumes.”
The city of Memphis said they’ve hired in extra crews to help not only in the contract areas where Waste Pro works but also with trash delays in areas where the city directly picks up trash.