Memphis Tennessee

Analytics Helps Clean Up A Neighborhood

A staff analyst from the City of Memphis took GovEx Academy’s Advanced Analytics course. As a part of her training, she used her city’s 311 data to hone her new skills. While conducting the analysis, the staffer discovered there were several neighborhoods experiencing solid waste backlogs and lapsed service, which led to increased call volume. After investigating the issue further, the analyst learned that the area was serviced by a single, underperforming contractor.

While the majority of garbage pick-up is done by the City of Memphis, one fifth, including the communities of Cordova and Hickory Hill, were serviced by a contractor. Over the last four years, their service has gone from manageable to major lapses in service in which bags of garbage piled up for a week or more, with no pick-up in sight. One resident in Hickory Hill described the situation as a major problem and that the area of his home always had a bad smell. He and his neighbors care about their neighborhood but that this issue was so terrible he sometimes is forced to haul away his own trash.

Once our student identified the issue, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland took swift action and announced the City was terminating the contract with that vendor, to the relief of the affected communities.

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