Memphis Will Soon Have Fewer Trash Services

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Memphis City Council members recently voted not to raise solid waste fees, and that means residents will have fewer trash services in January.

Memphis City Council member Ford Canale told The Tennessee Star Friday that he voted to keep the same number of trash services going, but other council members thought differently.

“One reason was with the chance of having a change in Memphis Light Gas & Water rates. They thought it was too much to do at the same time,” Canale said.

“But trash pickup has gotten quite a bit better. The citizens are a lot more pleased. It is still not perfect, but we’re working to get it better each and every day. It costs money to get it done right, get it done on time and get it done the way the citizens want it.”

Canale said the alternative was to privatize services to save money — and that would involve laying off 112 employees.

“Nobody wanted to do that. If you don’t do that then you have to take that money out of the General Fund,” Canale said. “Basically you have to rob from the General Fund in order to pay for Solid Waste to have the money they need in order to provide effective service.”

None of the other city council members returned The Star’s request for comment before Friday’s stated deadline.

According to the Memphis-based WATN, the money that paid for the services came from $15 million of the city’s reserve fund.

“It was a one-time deal. Mayor (Jim) Strickland and others hoped you’d be so impressed you wouldn’t mind paying an extra $7 a month for big stuff,” according to the station.

“Memphis city council members voted six to six on the question of raising solid waste fees by about $7 a month. A tie means the motion is defeated. So no new money is coming, and the old money will dry up in just a few weeks.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Trash Collection” by





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