MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - After countless complaints from citizens to the city and council members that Waste Pro is not picking up garbage, the company decided to send out a news release saying it wanted out of its contract with Memphis. But the release was reportedly sent only to the news media. The mayor says the city got nothing.
“They sent out a press release to the media,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “They did not send anything to us. The only reason we know of what they said today is because of you telling us about.”
The city has given Waste Pro a deadline.
“We’ve given them 20 days notice to correct their problem. We did that on March 15th, 2021. It expires April 4th. So we want them to pick up the garbage today and pick up up tomorrow and live by the terms of the agreement.”
The mayor would not say if he wants to get rid of Waste Pro that services 35,000 Memphis customers. The company took over in 2018 after another private sanitation company, Inland Waste, lost its contract with the city over citizen complaints.
On Tuesday the city sent out a statement apologizing for the poor service from Waste Pro.
City sanitation crews are now working overtime to collect the garbage Waste Pro did not pick up.
Council members Ford Canale and Chase Carlisle called for the removal of Waste Pro earlier in the week.
“I guess it’s the idea you can’t fire me. I quit. I’m glad they committed to a peaceful unwinding of our relationship,” said Carlisle.
That is the last line in Waste Pro’s news release, “We are open to transitioning the service in a smooth manner.”
“I think it’s laughable to me. You send that out after Councilman Carlisle and I call for an end to the contract,” said Canale. “They came back instead of an apology saying we’re trying to do better what is wrong, to issue this is not professional.”
Carlisle and Canale say when Waste Pro won the contract with the city, four other companies wanted the business. So if the city decides to go with another company it appears there are options.