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'It's a shame.' Curbside recycling in Nashville on pause due to delays in trash collection

Red River Waste Solutions is three weeks behind
Metro Trash and Recycling
Posted at 4:43 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 19:24:47-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Curbside recycling is on hold in Nashville and it stems from issues with trash collection.

According to Nashville Water Services, which oversees waste services, the city will be putting six recycling trucks on trash routes usually handled by Red River Waste Solutions.

In 2004, the city signed its first contract with Red River, a waste services contractor out of Texas. In 2013, Metro extended the contract to 2024.

Red River picks up 73% of the trash in Nashville. Some residents on its routes think it's time to cut the company loose.

"I'm tired of them saying we're going to fix this, do this, and then months down the road it happens again," said Darin Morrissey of Donelson. "This is an ongoing issue that has been going on for many months... into years now, and it's not getting resolved the way it needs to be resolved."

Red River claims staffing and fleet issues have set trash collection three weeks behind.

With Christmas days away, Morrissey said suspending recycling is happening at the worst time.

"It's a shame that we have to take resources from another department when we've got a contractor that's supposed to do this... and now, of all times of the year, recycling is huge right now with all the gifts and boxes," said Morrissey.

Although recycling won't be picked up curbside until late January or early February, residents can still take those items to recycling drop-off sites around the city.