MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com)
Chris Woode is the general manager of a nursery on Hacks Cross.
“It’s rough coming in and seeing it every single day,” Woode says, “…to see that out there and there’s really nothing we can do about it.”
Helpless. Chris Woode felt helpless. Once a year, he says, there have been crews out here picking up. Shelby County officials say they are out here far more than once a year.
They might disagree on the number of times crews have come to cleanup, but they don’t disagree on the problem.
“Trash has gotten pretty bad, especially as the traffic backs up in the afternoon,” Woode told us. “I guess people get done eating lunch or whatever, throw it out the window and there it all sits.”
Hacks Cross is a two-lane dumpster. It narrows from four lanes to two about a mile or so from the Mississippi State Line. That’s where the trash begins.
Danny Daniels of Shelby County Public Works admits, it’s one of the worst cases of roadside litter he’s seen.
He says, “The traffic is so bad here, as you see, it’s just terrible, with just a two-lane highway. Once they widen it, we’ll be alright.”
Widening this road is years away.
When we contacted the Shelby County Mayor’s office about the problem, they sent out crews. Picking up this trash meant they had to shut down traffic heading in each direction.
The cause was obvious. Daniels pointed at cars and trucks and said, “They’re just throwing the trash out.”
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell had a summer jobs program for young folks last year, picking up trash. They plan on doing that again this year.