Memphis City Council talks trash - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis City Council talks trash

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council members were talking trash Tuesday.  They discussed how to keep trash from piling up on city streets like it did during a recent strike.

Within the next month, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and AFCME leaders will get together and talk about trash collection here in the city, specifically trash collection in newly annexed areas.

The trash collection issue came to a head when garbage piled up in recently annexed areas like Cordova and Hickory Hill.

That pileup was because of a strike at privately contracted Republic Services Allied Waste, which picks up in those areas.

City leaders asked AFCSME to come in and pick up, but they were not willing to cross the picket line.

"When they had a chance to serve the citizens and to do more and show good faith, they chose to let trash pile up and that's unfortunate," said city councilman Kemp Conrad.

Council members have now asked for a proposal allowing the city, and not outside companies, to pick up trash in those annexed areas.

AFCSME leaders say they have been trying for five years to move all trash collection back in-house.

"If we can do it all along, then let's do it.  Not just when it's convenient," added AFCSME Executive Director Chad Johnson.

The city's public works director says talks with the union are going well.

"We've asked them to show us that they are providing a service less than what we're paying private companies to provide the same service," said Memphis Public Works Director Dwan Gilliom.

City council members say they expect to hear that proposal or report from the mayor and AFSCME during the full city council meeting on May 7.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.


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