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Impact of trains on trash pickup in Nashville

By Danielle Jackson

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — Members of the South Nashville community spoke out Thursday about why trains going through the community caused several delays in trash pickups.

David Johnson, a homeowner on Sadler Avenue, shared with News 4 that the pickup has not occurred every week. Instead, trash crews are there every other week.

News 4 took those concerns to the city. The spokesperson for Metro Water Services told us their contractor, Waste Industries, had trouble getting stuck behind the train for several hours.

“They say at times there was an hour delay and so the truck wasn’t able to wait due to the thing that’s why they’re going to completely rearrange that schedule so they can get to that street earlier in the day before the train goes through,” said Allman.

Johnson has filed several reports of missing trash through the city’s Hub Nashville portal. Trash crews came out that afternoon to pick up the garbage after Johnson spoke with News 4 on Wednesday.

“The trash was picked up yesterday afternoon,” Johnson said. “We’re delighted with that fingers-crossed that they’re going to follow through on the contract and keep picking up the trash.”

Johnson said the train had delayed emergency services, and several people had gotten stuck waiting for the train to pass. However, the excuse for not picking up the trash is bizarre.

“The interesting part to their response or their excuse for not picking up the trash is I would say a good third of the street is in front of those train tracks, so again once every other week they can get through without an issue, but those other weeks they seem to have a scheduling problem,” said Johnson.

Allman, the spokesperson for Metro Water Services, sat down with News 4′s Danielle Jackson. Allman credited the city’s work so far with addressing the trash delays by getting contractors to address this problem. As a result, she said they’ve seen a drastic decrease in the number of reports of missed trash over the last month.

“As of March 15th, there were 793 reported misses, which in comparison to the 6,567 misses that we had in February, is a drastic reduction,” Allman said. “We’re going in the right direction, things occur with misses, and we work as hard as possible to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Johnson says he’s glad the trash is no longer an eyesore and hopes the city holds their contractors accountable.

“I would love to see the contract because whether they pick up or they don’t pick up, you know they should penalize or rewarded accordingly that’s just what a business contract looks like,” Johnson said. “And if we aren’t representing or taking care of Nashville’s citizens and financials in that way then we should review that.”

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