200+ solid waste workers out of jobs, no outside-the-cart pick up, as Memphis Mayor outlines garbage service cuts

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In his weekly newsletter to the citizens of Memphis, Mayor Jim Strickland outlined the cuts that can soon be expected for garbage services in the city.

Strickland says beginning January 6, 2020, 199 full-time solid waste employees and 75 temporary workers will lose their jobs. He says there will be no outside-the-cart pick-up. And recycling will only be picked up once per month.

Below is the information from the newsletter sent by Strickland:

Nearly seventeen months ago, I told you how we were going to fix our issues with picking up your trash in a consistent and timely manner. And—we did it.

We reinstated Solid Waste as a division of City government. We hired more staff and bought more equipment to get the job done. And, we started picking up outside-the-cart waste twice per month.

Since May of this year, it’s been working almost like clockwork.

Initially, we did not propose a rate increase, but fully acknowledged we may well have to in the future. We wanted time to see how our new model would work and exactly what it what it would cost.

Since fully implementing the new service model, we’ve crunched the numbers, looked at all possible efficiencies, and presented our plan to council earlier this week on how we move forward. As it stands, the current rate you pay for trash service is $22.80, which is a decrease from $25.05 in 2013. To be able to fund the new service model, we requested an increase to $29.96 per month.

In a disappointing turn this past Tuesday evening, city council rejected our plan.

What does this mean for you?

Without the money to fund the new service levels, beginning January 6, 2020, there will be a dramatic reduction in solid waste services.

  • Solid Waste employees will only pick up recycling once per month.
  • Nothing outside-the-cart will be picked up.
  • A reduction in Solid Waste staff—199 full-time Solid Waste employees will lose their job and 75 temporary employees will also lose their job.

I’m never a fan of raising rates. But to maintain this new level of service, unfortunately, it’s our only option.


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