Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced late Thursday afternoon that the contract for trash pickup with Inland Waste has been terminated, citing under-performance and “large-scale backlogs and service lapses.”
The following is the letter posted to the city of Memphis’ website regarding the decision:
When I was sworn in as mayor two and a half years ago, I promised you I would apply fresh eyes to the old problems of City government. That’s meant fixing the problems that have been before us — items like 911 response time, Memphis Animal Services, and Memphis Police recruiting.
Today, we took a significant step toward fixing trash pickup.
As you probably know, only about four-fifths of our city is serviced by City solid waste employees. One-fifth of the city — areas like Cordova and Hickory Hill — is serviced by a contractor, which is currently Inland Waste. Four years ago, when the City bid out that contract, Inland won — but has since underperformed. As a result, we’ve had large-scale backlogs and service lapses in these contracted areas.
Though the contract runs through next June, the level of service that we are delivering to our citizens through Inland remains unacceptable.
So I’ve decided to terminate our contract with Inland Waste.
A few moments ago, I informed Inland that I am invoking a clause in our contract that allows us to end it within 30 days. We are in the process of contracting with a new provider to fill the remainder of the Inland contract, and we’ll be putting the long-term contract out for bid later this year.
This is just one of a handful of ways we’ll be fixing trash service citywide. At a news conference tomorrow, I’ll be unveiling more steps we’ll be taking to increase the level of services we’re providing citizens.
The transition between service providers may create some hiccups; I ask you for your patience as we work together for the long-term solution we all want.
I know it’s easy to view this — along with what we’ll unveil tomorrow — as just a piece of process. But I believe fixing what’s broken in our city goes to serve our greater vision. We are committed at City government to improving core City services, which will enable even more momentum in our city. We must continue to lay this foundation of improved services, increased public safety, and policies that focus on growth in our core and our neighborhoods for us to realize the Memphis we all want.