Yard debris piling up in one Frayser neighborhood

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you receive a monthly bill you probably don't think twice about that city of Memphis solid waste fee.

One Frayser resident, however, has questions about the fee and why piles of yard debris haven't been removed from her street.

Eugenia Williams says it's way past time for someone to remove this pile of yard debris and trash on Lakecrest Circle in Frayser.

"It's when the tree limbs fall and we have to clean it up ourselves. We put it on the curbside."

Williams says the pile in her yard, and the one down the street from her home, have been sitting for at least three weeks.

She can tell by how dry the leaves are.

Williams wonders just exactly what the $22 solid waste fee on her monthly MLGW bill is for if not to pick up yard debris.

"I don't know how they define it, because I was assuming that it meant the pick-up. So I don't know what category they're putting that into."

According to Memphis' Director of Public Works, that money goes to the city's solid waste fund.

"There are only two services that we guarantee weekly, currently. That's curbside cart and curbside cart recycling service. Everything else outside of that is not on a guaranteed weekly collection. It's actually on what we call a 21-day service level," Robert Knecht said.

Knecht says residents must call 311 to schedule the pick-up of larger items.

Eugenia Williams says she has called 311, but just keeps getting the run-a-round.

She and her neighbors says they just want answers and actions.

"We just need to know how to prepare for yard waste to be picked up. Please don't tell us we need to call ahead of time, because that's unfair if we are paying for it on a monthly basis," Williams said.

Knecht says it usually doesn't take the city 21 days to remove debris unless there's been storm damage crews must first deal with.

He also says his department is looking at ways to improve solid wast removal that could mean changes in collection fees.

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