Memphis cancels trash collection contract with Inland Waste

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After months of complaints over trash piles and missed pickups, Memphis is cutting ties with contractor Inland Waste.

Mayor Jim Strickland announced Thursday that will end the city's contract with Inland in 30 days, saying the company had underperformed.

"We are in the process of contracting with a new provider to fill the remainder of the Inland contract, and we’ll be putting the long-term contract out for bid later this year," Strickland said.

While city garbage crews service most Memphis homes, Inland services about 30,000 addresses in the city, mostly in areas like Cordova and Hickory Hill.

In April, some residents in those areas began complaining they hadn't had garbage pickup in weeks. The company blamed a critical driver shortage, but the city began exploring options to replace the contractor.

Hickory Hill resident Elbert Guy says it happens a lot.

"It smells bad. It always smells bad," he said. "It's bad for the neighborhood. We care about our neighborhood."

The problem is so bad, Guy says he hauls away his own trash sometimes.

"I do what I have to do."

Traci Tice lives a couple doors down. She says it recently took a month for debris to be picked up, and two weeks for recycling.

"It's just not right."

Residents like Tice and Guy hope the pickup improves.

Memphis had been contracted to pay Inland more than $4 million a year for service through 2019.