- Memphis, Tennessee intends to rebid its solid waste contract with Inland Waste Solutions in response to customer anger over weeks-long delays with trash collection, according to The Commercial Appeal. Inland serves about 20% of the city and its existing contract is set to expire next year.
- The city will open the bidding process in September and notify the contract winner by December. The winning contract will take effect six months later in 2019.
- Inland came in as the low bidder and won the contract in 2014. It will be allowed to submit a bid when rebidding takes place in the fall.
Residents' anger escalated in April when upset residents contacted not only the city government to complain about missed trash collections, but also local news media. Some customers had been experiencing weeks-long collection delays since January.
In response to the complaints, Inland reportedly took responsibility for the problem but said it had notified Memphis of the collection backlog in early April. Inland attributes the backlog to a driver shortage, which apparently started with an employee walkout. However, the city fined Inland last year for previous missed collection deadlines, and the company lost its contract with a Memphis suburb last year after being fined by that municipality as well.
Inland brought in an additional contractor, Waste Pro, to help with the backlog in Memphis. Waste Pro has had its own problems with collection delays that have resulted in action by leaders in Henderson County, North Carolina.
Other haulers are experiencing the well-known worker shortage throughout the country, which has affected numerous municipalities' trash and yard waste collection. Waste Management, for one, is having difficulty finding qualified workers and recently added a number of incentives to attract new talent in Omaha, Nebraska. The company's service delays in Florida prompted a state legislator to introduce a bill that would require haulers to provide refunds for collections that are more than four days late.