MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Memphis city leaders announced plans this week to address ongoing blight issues with the creation of a new program where residents will be able to properly dispose of unwanted items.
From the sky, it’s easy to miss, but once you come to ground level, there is no escaping what has become a citywide problem — illegal dumping.
To put things into perspective, the city’s Public Works Department says they picked up more than 48,000 bags of litter and 118,000 tires last year.
“Illegal dumping continues to be a major concern both from the council and the public perspective,” said Public Works Director Robert Knecht.
It’s creating an eyesore for residents like Vernon Horner who has called the Bluff City home for decades.
“Memphis used to be a beautiful city, but now it’s just trash everywhere you go and it’s terrible and I would hope that we could do something to get things back to the way they use to be,” Horner said.
The City says they are partnering up with MPD to roll out a new initiative called Dumpster Days to address illegal dumping.
“We see this is a good opportunity not only to simplify collecting, getting rid of materials that otherwise would be illegally dumped but also foster good will with our community and educate them on what is the city services,” Knecht said.
The first Dumpster Day will take place on Saturday, April 9 at 1175 East Shelby Drive in Whitehaven. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Several organizations have joined forces to support the cause, including the Whitehaven Redevelopment Corporation.
“Although it does look very bad and we’re not happy with that. I can say it’s great to know that lot of great work is going making this better and that we’re at the table to make this happen,” said Michael O. Harris, Director of the Greater Whitehaven Redevelopment Corporation.
Organizers are planning to go to every city council district but for now, they’re focusing on the areas that need the most attention.