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Jackson Loses Trash Collection Weeks After Losing Clean Water

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Posted On October 7, 2022

Jackson, Mississippi, will no longer have a trash removal service after the city council refused to pay for an emergency contract signed in April, according to the Mississippi Free Press.

Richard’s Disposal, the company that signed the contract in May, has reportedly not been paid for its services over the last six months, the Mississippi Free Press reported. The decision, which comes just weeks after residents were warned not to drink the water, was made by the city council which is arguing the contract was never approved, a decision that affects 150,000 residents.

In April, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba signed the garbage service contract, but did not have the support of the council, the Mississippi Free Press reported. Richard’s Disposal owner Alvin Richard decided to terminate the emergency contract Thursday citing a lack of compensation from the city.

Following Richards’ decision to terminate the contract, the City of Jackson wrote, “He [Richard] informed us that he has not been paid for 6 months and that the Council has refused to reach a reasonable agreement with him regarding the Emergency Contract,” the Mississippi Free Press reported. The city thanked Richard’s Disposal and its 70 employees for dedicated service over the past six months.

“The citizens of Jackson have paid and continue to pay for the solid waste collection, and they have received the services, but due to inaction by the Jackson City Council, my administration is legally unable to pay Richard’s for services rendered,” Lumumba said, according to the Mississippi Free Press.

Richard’s Disposal has filed two separate lawsuits attempting to claim compensation for its work, but the courts have ruled that Lumumba does not have the power to veto a decision by the city council, the Mississippi Free Press reported. The City of Jackson is now looking for another trash removal contract.

“I can’t say much right now because we’re involved in some negotiations trying to make sure that the city has garbage pickup starting on Monday,” City Council President Ashby Foote told the Mississippi Free Press Thursday evening. “There are a lot of details, but I can’t really go into them at this point in time. I don’t want to jeopardize the negotiations.”

The garbage fiasco follows Jackson’s September water crisis where many residents went weeks without access to clean water, the Mississippi Free Press reported. The water crisis was resolved on Sept. 27, but the water plant is still experiencing leaks, according to a City of Jackson press release.

The Jackson City Council, office of the mayor and Richard’s Disposal did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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