MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com)- There are still big question marks over the Solid Waste Division.
What’s going to happen to the workers and the pickups?
We will find out in about a week or so.
Memphis is different.
Solid waste workers are a part of this city’s history.
It dates back more than fifty years.
So when there is talk of laying off more than 250 worker, when there is talk of doing away with picking up big waste items that don’t fit in the trash can, it makes news in Memphis.
And its not good news.
Memphis City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad says “You can either reduce services or raise costs. There are no other options.”
The current service is this.
Regular waste is picked up once a week.
Big items are picked up every two weeks.
Recycling is the same.
All of this service means solid waste fees have to go up seven dollars and ten cents a month or else the cuts are coming.
“My message to Memphians ,” according to Conrad ” is don’t worry. Your trash is going to be picked up. Your recycling is going to be picked up. We will continue to pick up things on the curb. I fully anticipate we will get something done at our last meeting next Tuesday, so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Unfortunately, City Council promises often resemble Amtrak schedules.
Just because it says something on paper doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
“It is concerning particularly at this time of year,” says City Council member Martavius Jones. “One thing I say about people in Memphis, they have long memories. They have long memories of how at one point, Memphis was the cleanest city in the US.”
If nothing is done, if the mayor has to do what he really doesn’t want to do. Nobody will ever confuse Memphis with the cleanest city in the US.