City officials consider replacing Inland Waste amid trash pickup concerns

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis officials said they are considering replacing a city contract company over trash pickup concerns.

Inland Waste services about 20 percent of the city, including Hickory Hill and Cordova. The company has fallen behind in debris pickup in recent weeks.

Officials said they gave Inland a deadline to get all of the trash cleaned up by Monday night, but contractors didn't meet that deadline.

That's why city officials said they'd charge the company for the issues and could find a different contractor when the Inland contract ends in 2019.

Public Works Director Robert Knecht doesn't mince words when it comes to evaluating the job of Inland Waste.

"We've asked them to explain why they're not meeting services," Knecht said. “We’re going to take necessary steps to hold them accountable through fines or take away some funds wed pay them because they didn’t do the service."

He said they’re still calculating how much that will be and are looking into hiring an additional contractor to help out.

But in other parts of town people like Linda Norwood are also asking questions.

"I'm frustrated, because I've been here for a long time. I have roots in the community, but the quality of service has gone down," the Frayser resident said.

Norwood said she'd been waiting for the city to pick up her leaves and branches since February.

She noticed similar issues all over the city.

WREG cameras captured a debris pile-up in South Memphis Monday.

“Memphis is a beautiful city but you can go to any part of this city and it’s trashy looking,” Norwood said.

Knecht said the city only guarantees debris pickup every three weeks and if that doesn’t happen people can call 311.

But that left many Memphis residents why they have to work so hard to get basic city services.

City officials said the backlog of Cordova debris was shrinking, but they would not provide an exact number of households.

Germantown actually dropped Inland Waste for similar reasons in 2017.

Memphis officials said they were considering switching companies in 2019 when their contract with Inland ends. They said bids should go out later this year.