MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two Memphis City Councilmembers are asking the City of Memphis to end its contract with a trash collection company after thousands of complaints from residents.
Councilmen Ford Canale and Chase Carlisle are planning to introduce a resolution next month asking Mayor Jim Strickland to terminate and rebid the contract with Waste Pro of Tennessee.
Since July 2019, the councilmembers say residents serviced by Waste Pro have lacked sufficient waste collection, and in the last 30 days, the councilmembers say the Mayor’s Action Line has registered more than 2,000 complaints about the company.
“After months of continuous complaints of trash piles and missed pickups, I have had enough,” said Canale in a news release. “As a basic function of city government, citizens expect to put their garbage out and for it to be collected, without piling up in their front yard. Waste Pro has come short of fulfilling their contract. This is the very least we can do is replace Waste Pro with a contractor who can do their job on time, every week! Our citizens of Area E deserve better and I am committed to ensuring citizens get just that! It is time for the City of Memphis to cut all ties with Waste Pro.”
The councilmembers will introduce their resolution on April 6, which will ask the City of Memphis to evaluate whether Area E residents should no longer be contracted out to a third-party solid waste collection provider.
“We have heard from our citizens and demand action,” said Carlisle in the release. “On Monday afternoon, I informed the administration that we would be bringing this resolution forward. I applaud Mayor Strickland for accepting responsibility for the failures that have occurred in Area E. Waste Pro must be held accountable for its continued lack of adequate services. We look forward to expeditiously working towards a solution that delivers the services our citizens fund and deserve.”
WMC Action News 5 spoke with residents in Cordova Monday where trash pick-up issues are persistent.
“It makes me very angry,” said Paula Rice. “I pay my taxes just like everybody else. I want the services that should be provided.”
Strickland gave us a statement Monday, saying he’s sorry for the issues and takes full responsibility.
He said city sanitation crews will work overtime to get the trash picked up in areas with problems, and he said the city is working to get the issue permanently resolved.