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Metro recycling pickup suspended through early 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s Christmas week, and chances are you will be generating extra trash from wrapping paper, boxes, and bags. But, if your curbside recycling services are provided by Metro Water, those services will be suspended through January or early February of 2022.

“I do pay taxes, so I expect my trash to be picked up… my recycling especially because that can accumulate quickly,” said Joyce Buford, who lives in the Summerfield subdivision in Antioch.

Buford has lived in the neighborhood since it was built. She said they’ve had a few issues with trash pickup lately. “At one time, it was about three or four days,” said Buford. “It’s being picked up… and I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble… it’s just not picked up on time.” Monday, Metro Water Services announced staffing and fleet issues and a temporary reassignment of employees.

“Our trash trucks are in need of repair and have been for quite some time,” said Joy Styles, councilwoman for District 32. “Supply chain demand has also created a need. We can’t get parts that we need to repair our trucks. Red River has filed for bankruptcy, as we know already know, the company we contract to collect our trash. They have been doing an absolutely miserable job as of late.”

Instead, Metro Water customers have the option of dropping off their own recycling at convenience centers and recycling drop-off sites.

“This is frustrating, yes,” said Styles. “Recycling isn’t going to be able to continue as we had hoped. But this is about us taking responsibility and accountability finally. Because the truth of the matter is this should have been tended to many years ago. So, I want to know — whose fault is this? Who didn’t fund this department properly when it should have been?”

Styles is now proposing new legislation that would give Metro Water $10 million to rent trucks for the next two years, while they work to permanently replace the department’s fleet.

“I have always said, since coming into office, that trash collection should belong within Metro. We should not be contracting outside vendors at all. This is our responsibility,” said Styles.

If passed, the legislation would begin paying for rental trucks in April 2022.

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