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Metro council member believes Nashville shouldn't have halted trash pickup for some

nashville trash
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 20:20:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Hundreds of residents in Nashville communities learned their trash pickup would either end or had already been stopped in the past month.

The issue caught the attention of council members, and one of them said he's considering filing legislation to avoid it.

Trash is now the center of attention for some Nashvillians.

"It's a real, real pain," said Tony Burdick, who lives in the Harrison Square neighborhood. "They didn't give us any guidance — who we should call, what we should do?"

Burdick said one day he woke up and his trash cart was gone. He's found his own solution to getting rid of garbage.

"What I did is I went and I bought a little red wagon," he said. "I put the trash in my little red wagon and take it over to the condo's dumpster."

Harrison Square is one of two communities in Metro Council Member Freddie O'Connell's district. The other is District Lofts.

O'Connell said he's hearing from the people he represents who, with little or no notice, had their trash service stopped.

"The communication was not great, they admitted," said O'Connell. "They sent a sort of letter describing the change to the property companies; it did not go to residents. So, without any sort of broadcast notice, some people had their carts picked up."

This is happening because Metro Water realized some communities had cart service in error.

Antioch neighborhood notified their trash pick up could end

Apartments or home communities with more than five residences are supposed to be on dumpster service instead. It's a rule that wasn't enforced in these communities for at least a decade. MWS took over the service from the former public works department about a year ago.

O'Connell called a meeting with MWS to ask questions about what was happening. He said the error was discovered because one of the residents from this neighborhood reported delayed trash pick up. MWS informed him the department was trying to standardize their service. They've been meeting with some of the neighborhoods impacted.

However, he doesn't think this response is right.

"The reason this is so frustrating to me is these people did exactly what we asked them to do. They reported missed trash pickups, and the response they got was 'we're canceling your trash service altogether.' How is that fair?" he asked.

O'Connell said he's thinking of a way to fix this.

He'd like to have that trash pickup continued like it was before until a solution can be found. A solution that isn't just pulling the carts from people's homes.

"I would say we owe them better than this," said O'Connell.

Another Metro Council Member, Joy Styles, said she heard the rule is impacting neighborhoods across the whole city. A neighborhood in her district was informed that they too didn't fall under the cart pickup policy.

NewsChannel5 has reached out to Metro Water Services with questions about how many communities or people the error is impacting on Friday. The department said it is working on compiling all of the residents impacted by this error.