June 14, 2012

City Announces Creation of Memphis Sanitation Department

It's official - the city has entered the trash business. At the June 6th meeting, the Memphis City Council announced the creation of the Memphis Sanitary Department that will begin providing service July 1st.

"It is our goal to provide a superior service at a rate equal to the current service," said Mayor William Reckenberg. "It is our hope that our Memphis customers welcome our new service."

With uncertainty looming in the ownership of the current provider Veolia, which reportedly is for sale, as well as limited response in previous years of seeking bids for the service, the City of Memphis began considering the option last year, with the end of the current three-year contract looming on June 30th.

Alderman Allen Creek headed the project, coordinating meetings with neighboring communities that provide municipal trash collection services as well working with various truck and dumpster manufacturers to secure options prior to seeking bids for the materials.

The city also utilized the consulting services of Bill Kiddoo. The Memphis resident had owned and operated a waste management business in Scotland County for several years.

Ultimately the council decided to move forward with the creation of a city sanitation department, hiring two full-time employees and purchasing a new truck. Memphis residents Derek Manchester and Jeff Adams were hired to man the operation.

They officially began work on June 1st, tasked with creating collection routes for residential services. The duo also has been busy contacting commercial customers, establishing dumpster needs as well as scheduling pickups.

The city invested in a new 2012 Freightliner with a 25 cubic yard capacity. The truck was purchased from Armor Equipment of Arnold. The company also supplied the city's dumpsters.

Effective July 1, 2012, the Memphis City Sanitation Department will begin collecting solid waste for the residential and commercial customers of the city of Memphis.

Over the next two weeks, the collection routes and dates will be publicized. The city also hopes to provide opportunities for rural customers, with multiple options being considered.

The city currently handles the billing process for Veolia, meaning there will be relatively no changes to that side of the service.

The department is also striving to make as few changes as possible to the collection, routes, dates and times to make the transition as seamless as possible.

"We're hoping that the only difference the people will notice is a blue and white truck instead of a green one, as well as a pair of local faces they know will be accountable for providing a quality service," said Alderman Chris Feeney.

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