Downtown Businesses Face $500 Fee For Dumpsters

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(Memphis) Businesses in downtown Memphis that use dumpsters in alley ways will now face a $500 monthly fine.

Starting this month, the city is no longer permitting the dumpsters, and is instead asking businesses to use trash compactors.

The change has been in the works for a couple of years and several businesses have installed the compactors.

However, some businesses, like Walgreen's at Main and Madison, have not.

“We have already paid the first month’s fee and we will continue to pay a $500 fee,” said Walgreen's store manager Patrick Reynolds about the fine for having the dumpsters.

“You can do the math and it’s going to be a hard time for some downtowners,” said city councilman Lee Harris.

That’s why the Harris asked city council today to consider spending $300,000 to install pads for trash compactors for several businesses downtown.

“It’s a healthcare issue because like you said,  you’re going to see rats and rodents and so forth because people aren’t going to have a legal place to throw away their trash,” said Harris.

Many council members weren’t on board, considering the city’s already tight budget.

“There’s been another project on the table and we’ve been told when private businesses come to the table we can’t invest certain city funds,” said council woman Wanda Halbert.

Downtown businesses were asked to go back to the drawing board as council considers paying the $300,000.

Meantime, the council is considering reducing that $500 monthly fine by several hundred dollars.

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