MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two Memphis City Council members say they have had enough. They are taking action to have a garbage service contracted by the city fired because of unending complaints about garbage not being picked up.
“They said COVID was a problem. They said well we can’t find workers. We can’t find drivers,” said Cordova resident James Sdoia.
Sdoia is tired of the excuses from Waste Pro tired of his trash not being picked up regularly. And so are several city council members.
“I think they’ve had enough chances. There’s only so many excuses you can come up with and the people of Memphis are furious and they have every right to be.”
Memphis City Council members Ford Canale and Chase Carlisle are asking the city administration to end its $33 million 5-year contract with Waste Pro after thousands of complaints from citizens. Canale and Carlisle say the issues with Waste Pro go back before the pandemic.
“We’re asking the mayor to do is take that contract the contract with Waste Pro and rebid the contract to another to another third party,”aid Canale.
Carlisle says he would like to see the city’s solid waste division take over if it is feasible.
A look at neighborhoods serviced by Waste Pro shows overflowing trash cans residents say sit out for at least two weeks. In the last 30 days the council members say the mayor’s action line has registered more than 2,000 complaints, Carlisle and Ford will introduce a resolution to fire Waste Pro on April 6.
Tuesday night three other council members, chairman Frank Colvett, Rhonda Logan and Patrice Robinson announced they’ll fight for a month’s credit for the 35,000 citizens in the area with the poor sanitation service.
“They paid for the service on a monthly basis,” said Canale. “That is a basic fundamental service of city government to have your trash collected.”
WMC contacted Waste Pro again on Monday and Tuesday but never received a callback. We also went by the office on Lamar Avenue, it was locked with a note saying the office was closed due to COVID-19.
We asked the City of Memphis for a statement about Canale’s and Carlisle’s plan.
We were sent the same statement we received Monday saying that the city is committed to fixing the garbage problem. It is just not clear how.