Cordova still having trash and debris pickup issues

Problem Solvers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Cordova residents say they are still having issues with trash and debris pickup in their neighborhood and haven’t heard anything from city officials, despite WREG reaching out to the city multiple times.

A year ago, Mayor Jim Strickland unveiled a new debris pickup service that he promised would help fulfill his promise to be “brilliant at the basics.” But a year later, residents aren’t seeing results.

Joesetter Hines and her husband normally take a lot of pride in their neighborhood.

“We all keep the neighborhood up because we want it to look like homeowners live here,” Hines said.

But like many in Cordova, they are frustrated. Tree limbs and other debris from other neighbors are littering their street.

“We try to ensure the pile is not too high or too much. But it’s been out a month,” she said.

She says the city’s contractor, Waste Pro, has missed two pickups. It’s an ongoing issues and she hasn’t heard a word from city officials.

“If you’re overwhelmed, then let us know,” Hines said. “Give us a credit on our bill.”

She’s not alone. WREG also spoke with Kenneth Oakes at his Cordova home earlier this month. He also had reported a missed pickup to 311, but when we were there it was clear they never fixed the problem.

“They’re closing the orders for whatever reason and it makes it look like they’ve done the service but they haven’t,” Oakes said.

Other neighbors said they heard Waste Pro was short-staffed and then fell behind because of the increased amount of trash during quarantine. But Hines wanted to hear that from her mayor.

“This is a Cordova-wide area issue!” she said.

If the mayor can’t handle Cordova services, she said the city should de-annex their area and let them find a better way.

WREG contacted both city officials and Waste Pro for an explanation for the Cordova delays multiple times but has not yet heard back.

When WREG covered trash pickup issues in one southeast Memphis neighborhood two weeks ago, the city cleared the trash by the next day. The same thing happened when WREG covered pickup issues at Oakes’ Cordova home.

However, officials have not acknowledged or provided a reason for the widespread collection issues.

WREG also submitted an open record request regarding the parameters for closing a 311 complaint. City officials responded Friday and said they did not have any responsive records to that request.

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