What’s the 411 on the city’s 311 line?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City residents say they’re having the hardest time getting help from the City of Memphis.

Sanitation crews have missed pick ups in parts of East Memphis and Cordova, and when the residents report the problem to the city’s 311 complaint line, they can’t get anyone to pick up the phone.

If they do get an answer, it still doesn’t mean help is on the way.

“I say as far as the curbside trash, it’s been here six weeks now,” said Larry Griffin, who says he has filed several reports online with the city’s 311 department.

Over-sized trash hasn’t been picked up in his neighborhood, and recycling is currently five days overdue.

Same situation in East Memphis, where another resident says recycling went untouched for days and over-sized trash still remains.

WREG called 311 and waited about 20 minutes before an operator answered.

CAO George Little says the line is backed up because of an uptick in complaints.

He says the city recently switched to a new company to pick up trash and they have had some trouble getting started. He also blames the outgoing company for slacking off toward the end.

Little says he’s sorry for the issues, and they are getting better. He said he’s adding more staff to 311 and staying on top of the sanitation complaints.

Little says filing a complaint online instead of over the phone allows you to track the city’s response. You can report problems online here.

5 comments

  • Skeptic

    Since when does the City have another company picking up trash??? Any pick ups I’ve seen in Mid-town are by city owned trucks. I drive around many, many Memphis streets and there are piles large and small waiting to be picked up. I see bags of debris waiting weeks at a time. A neighbor three doors away has a massive pile of limbs that has been sitting for over a month. During the ice storm back on the 1st of March caused a tree to fall on McLean and it hasn’t been removed. You have to walk in the street to get past it. Back in the spring the Mayor pushed a cleanup campaign.
    fine and dandy but what are you suppose to do with the trash once it has been collected. Guess it’s time to go back to having trash burning in your back yard.

    • missC

      When the city annexed parts of Cordova and other areas, it hired a private company to service these areas. Midtown is still serviced by the City.

    • Gonebabygone

      Due to the lack of response and downed tress sitting so long it kills the grass and sinks into the dirt at the curb, my neighbors and I have begun to burn all yard waste in our fire pits. I understand a couple weeks delay during heavy times like after a storm or in fall. But this is a constant thing and it is either leave the yard a mess or burn it all. We cut it up to fit and we burn it ourselves. It blights an otherwise ok city neighborhood by sitting for months on end.

      And at least the dried out stuff doesn’t catch fire due to a flicked cigarette butt from a passing car!

  • Allie Taylor

    I have called the city complaint line 2 months I have been given 2 different file numbers there is a lot next door to my home with very tall grass, broken tree limbs,standing water in the ditch. It is an awful eye sore. mosquitoes follow me inside each time I open my door and instead of resting when I retire for the evening I am fighting mosquitoes. A snake skin was at my mail box I am fed up I care about the condition of my property why should someone else who owns a house with such a large lot be allowed to just abandon the yard. The property is located at 3030 East Street in Raleigh zip code 38128

  • Smitty1961

    This is what a city looks like when the tax base leaves and the city “managers” don’t manage the remaining tax stream. Don’t expect things to get better until the city turns around and people with money decide to move back, or decide not to flee. I love aspects of this city (e.g., midtown) but I fear that if I don’t sell my house and leave soon, I’ll never get back anywhere close to what I’ve already paid in.

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