Memphis changes curbside debris pickup system

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis will soon change its system for picking up yard debris and trash outside of garbage carts in hopes to improve service.

The city typically tells residents to call 311 to pick up debris like limbs and yard waste from the curb, and they have to wait up to three weeks. But Mayor Jim Strickland promises to change that.

Twice per month on a resident's regular collection day, workers will pick up garbage in the cart, recycling bins, up to two bags of yard debris and outside-the-cart trash like tree limbs and large items.

“We heard the people. We blew up the system and created one that would work for them,” Strickland said. "It’s gonna be a cleaner city because curbside trash, outside the cart trash, is not gonna sit there for weeks on end anymore.”

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Al Lamar, director of the Division of Solid Waste said outside the cart and bulk waste collection will happen either the first and third, or second and fourth week of each month. Customers are limited to two bags of yard waste.

“Folks have enough to worry about without calling someone to pick up their trash," Lamar said.

Residents will be told which of their service days they can place the debris and large items on the curb for pickup. All solid waste customers should receive a magnetic postcard in the mail with their pickup information.

A calendar is at www.memphistn.gov with pickup information. The new service schedule starts May 1.

Strickland used $15 million from the city’s reserve funds to hire 70 new employees the staff the new division, concentrating on this problem. The city has also hired a new contractor to service areas in Cordova and Hickory Hill.

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