Memphis 311 marking cases ‘closed’ when issues haven’t been resolved

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis residents are telling WREG that 311 has been marking their calls “closed” even though the issues haven’t been resolved.

Kenneth Oakes is one of many in Memphis who’ve been calling 311 for missed trash pickups. He said his pickups hadn’t happened in his Cordova neighborhood off Germantown Parkway for more than two weeks.

“Families that are out of work and have children, they’re producing more garbage and they’re past the point of critical,” Oakes said. “I actually saw a rat come out the garbage can and the kids were right near the garbage can.”

311 mapping showed about two-dozen calls of a similar nature in his neighborhood. However, his call from Monday was labeled “closed.”

Oakes said he even got an email from the city asking him if he wanted to thank the people who helped resolve it.

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

Oakes isn’t the only one. In Southeast Memphis, Flora Childres had the same experience.

“You see nothing is closed, nothing is completed, nothing taken care of,” she said as she gestured to the trash buildup on her cove.

Oakes said when he called back, the operator couldn’t give him an explanation either.

“A lot of hemming and hawing,” he said.

The 311 operator opened yet another ticket for the same issue.

WREG contacted city officials to ask for an explanation multiple times on Thursday and Friday.

After this story aired Friday, a city spokesperson sent WREG the following response.

“The City’s Solid Waste Division staff has confirmed service delivery on W Black Bear Cir and E Black Bear Cir. We are aware of service concerns and are working to resolve these expeditiously. We expect to have garbage and recycle services fully restored this weekend.”

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