Memphis woman says city hasn’t picked up trash in a month

Problem Solvers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Trash troubles are piling up for a woman in a wheelchair in the Messick-Buntyn neighborhood. She called the WREG Problem Solvers for help.

Clara Woodland-Johnson does not like what she sees from her front porch: a mound of trash overflowing in her front lawn, getting bigger by the week.

“They ain’t picked up my garbage in a month. I got garbage in my house needs to come out and go in the garbage can. I have nowhere to put it,” she said.

She’s reported the problem to 311, the city’s service request line. Records show her most recent complaint was filed last week.

“I’m a handicapped person,” Woodland-Johnson said. “I can’t walk. So they come and pull my trash from the yard.”

She showed us stickers on her trash can which she says mean she doesn’t have to bring the cans all the way to the street. She said that was never a problem, until about a month ago.

And she is not alone in this ongoing frustration. Public 311 records show the city has about 60 missed trash and recycling complaints open right now, and more than 3,300 they’ve closed since May 1.

Just last month, Solid Waste director Al Lamar left his position after about two years on the job.

The city of Memphis responded Monday afternoon saying Woodland-Johnson’s missed trash would be collected by close of business.

The city has 1,200 open service requests right now due to seasonal increases like spring cleaning, a city representative said, and it was normal for that to cause a backup in the collection of yard waste and bulky items.

“Our crews are working intensely to collect these items during this peak season. The City’s Solid Waste Management Department provides service to approximately 450,000 customers each week, making 169,000 residential stops and 5,000 commercial stops.”

City of Memphis

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