Memphis residents express frustration after Waste Pro says city wouldn’t allow trash pickup Friday


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Waste Pro says it won’t be picking up trash Friday, because the city won’t let it. As the back and forth of words continues, trash is piling up in neighborhoods across the city.

If you look down his street in Hickory Hill, it’s pretty clear why residents like Larry Neal are fed up. The trash is piling up after weeks of being ignored. Some neighbors say they’ve even seen rats nearby.

“It is frustrating because we’re in a neighborhood where this street, we try to keep up with the appearance of our houses and the appearance of the grass and the streets,” Neal said.

Neal has lived in this community for 18 years. He says the problems with their trash pickup have never been this bad.

Waste Pro says it wanted to pick up trash today, but its contract with the city prevents it from collecting trash on holidays.

The company said in a release it requested an exception for today, but the city denied it.

“For them to try to make the city look bad as it relates to not allowing them to pick up trash on a holiday seems to me to be somewhat laughable,” said Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley, Jr. “This is an entity that had opportunities to serve the city well, but they have failed to perform their duties.”

Smiley is the chair of the public works committee. He says the city has heard the complaints and is working to end its contract with Waste Pro.

“Be patient with us. we’re trying our hardest to work the situation out with Waste Pro so we can have an entity here who values us,” Smiley said.

That is easier said than done for the folks currently dealing with the trash woes.

“We’ve got trashcans that’s just overflowing, and we don’t know what to do,” Neal said. “They tell us about an alternative of taking it and dumping it out ourselves but why should we take it and dump it when we’re paying for it.”

Next week, council will consider several resolutions aimed at addressing Waste Pro and other trash issues.

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