Metro Public Works is taking back trash pickup duties from a contractor that has struggled to complete its routes in recent months. The agency says Red River Waste Solutions will continue to run trash routes but in a more limited zone.
The region of concern is in the fast-growing neighborhoods just north of Briley Parkway in council districts 7,8 and 9. Public Works will have its crews pick up the extra routes. But the agency says it may step in for the contractor elsewhere as needed over the coming months.
Many neighborhoods have experienced delays or been missed altogether some weeks.
“Every single weekend is consumed with calling, texting and emailing and tagging on social media because this problem has become such an issue,” Council member Delishia Porterfield said at last week’s meeting. “It’s unacceptable.”
Public Works says the pandemic has complicated trash pickup because households are throwing more away. But the city’s contractor also has driver and mechanic shortages related to the coronavirus.
Red River has picked up trash in Nashville for 15 years, being paid $23 million since 2017. But trouble emerged about that time, with nearly 3,000 complaints from residents since then, according to a proposed resolution to hold the company in breach of contract.
Still, council members say the company asked in recent months to restructure routes and operate more than four days a week. And Public Works has been slow to grant changes, says At-large Council member Sharon Hurt.
“For there not to have been rerouting and changing with the growth and adding on additional drivers and trucks and days in order to address it, I just don’t think it is 100% on the vendor,” she says.
Residents can visit hub.Nashville.gov or call 311 to report a missed pickup.