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Jackson Mayor Moving Forward With Garbage Pickup Bid Process After Two-Year Impasse

The City of Jackson will issue a new request for proposal for garbage-pickup services on or before Nov. 21, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced alongside other city officials on Nov. 9. Governments use RFPs to solicit bids from potential contractors.

The plan for a new RFP comes one year after the Jackson City Council voted twice to reject a proposed six-year garbage-collection contract from Richard’s Disposal, a company the mayor had previously come into agreement with for the service. The ongoing dispute left residents without garbage pickup for weeks earlier this year.

Lumumba said he anticipates that a new RFP means Jackson residents will pay higher costs for trash-pickup services.

“There was an effort on my behalf and the administration’s behalf to reach a compromise (with the Jackson City Council),” he said. “In this process, because we weren’t agreeing, I’m just going to do it the standard way, no third party. Everybody has a fair opportunity to give their very best price.”

The mayor said he was recently in negotiations with council members for a consensus on how to best move forward so that residents would not have their garbage services interrupted again or incur an increased cost for the service. After negotiations fell apart, though, he said he chose to request proposals for a new contract. The City’s current emergency contract for garbage pickup with Richard’s Disposal expires on March 31, 2024.

‘A Disservice to the People of Jackson’

Since 2021, Jackson’s trash collection has been the subject of a series of disagreements between Mayor Lumumba and the Jackson City Council.

Following the council’s rejection of Richard’s Disposal in 2022, Waste Management, the company that previously collected trash for Jackson residents, sued the mayor; the company accused him of ignoring their proposal for services.

Two weeks later, Waste Management filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit.

The mayor has issued three emergency contracts for trash collection in recent years to avoid interruptions in garbage pickup, but the issues came to a head earlier this year.

In April, after Jackson leaders failed to enact a contract for trash collection,

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