MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Trash is an ongoing issue in Memphis, from garbage and debris littering neighborhood streets to complaints about illegal dumping.
FOX13 has covered these issues in multiple parts of the city.
One of the ‘trash hotspots’ is near Douglass Avenue and Prescott Street, an area FOX13 has reported on before.
Many viewers reached out saying trash is still a major issue there, with garbage and other bulk items piling up in the street.
On Tuesday morning, FOX13′s crew saw rats crawling around in the debris.
The property owner now has days to remove the pile of trash. The owner and neighbors said the city should have taken action sooner to clear up the mess.
Guadalupe Sanchez lives across the street. She said she started the pile in June when she had the trees trimmed but said it’s since grown.
“Some random people just came by and started dumping several mattresses and trash,” she said.
After weeks of waiting, Sanchez said she called 311 to report a delay. She even emailed FOX13 to figure out why the bulk was being left behind.
City leaders said the home does not have MLGW utilities connected, which means bulk trash service is not being paid.
Sanchez said that doesn’t make sense because her trash is still being collected.
“The workers don’t know if I’m paying the utility bill, and they’re still picking it up and emptying it out,” she said.
Neighbor Charles Mauldin said he’s very frustrated with the situation. He said his bulk trash was picked up this week after months on the curb.
“All throughout Orange Mound, Frayser, Mitchell Heights, you name it,” he said. “You wouldn’t see this in Collierville or Germantown for months at a time. They put their stuff out, two days max, it’s gone. Why do we have to settle with this in our community?”
After FOX13 reported on the trash pile Tuesday morning, a city employee tagged the garbage with a yellow notice warning the property owner they’re not utility customers. The notice said the owner must move the trash or face penalties like court fees and liens.
Sanchez said she plans to pick up the mess but is frustrated the process of notifying her took so long.
“I think the city should do something better than what they’re doing right now,” she said. “Work together and get the trash out.”
Weeks ago, one of our own employees called 311 to report the trash, but the problem persisted.
Recently, the union representing Memphis’ sanitation workers, AFSCME, brought up concerns over trash pick-up, saying crews were unable to complete bulk waste service.
The City Council is expected to take up the issue again next week.
The City of Memphis sent FOX13 the following statement regarding the 1635 S. Prescott address:
Residents of Memphis receiving City Solid Waste services are billed on their MLGW statement. The location at 1635 S. Prescott has an inactive MLGW account and is not a Solid Waste fee paying customer. Therefore, this location is in violation of illegal dumping.
Environmental Enforcement issued a notice of violation today to the property owner to remove the illegal dumping and gathered evidence to identify any alleged illegal dumping suspects. If the property owner fails to comply within seven days, the owner will be issued an Environmental Court summons for non-compliance, and a request to clean up the site is submitted to the court. City crews will remove the illegal dumping after the court approves the removal request. The property owner will then be billed for services rendered including removal and disposal fees.
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