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Jackson officials come to a compromise, ending trash crisis in capital city

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Jackson officials have come to an agreement on a garbage collection company after over two weeks without trash pickup throughout the capital city.

On Monday afternoon, attorneys for the city council and Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released that Richard’s Disposal will be awarded a one-year emergency contract during Tuesday’s special council meeting.

According to the attorneys, members of the city council will be given the opportunity to vote on the contract once again after Lumumba declares a state of emergency. Director of Communications Melissa Faith Payne stated that trash pickups will resume on Wednesday after the council approves the contract.

The agreement comes after a day-long court hearing between the city council and Lumumba, with Special Judge H. David Clark calling for both sides to come to an agreement on a waste disposal provider despite the months-long dispute.

“This is a great example of failure of leadership all the way around. When leaders won’t talk to each other, when leaders won’t cooperate, when there’s no give or take, when there’s no compromise,” Clark said. “If you don’t want compromise, what you have is a dictatorship. We decided — we being the United States of America — decided many years ago we did not want a dictator, yet that’s what we have. A government that is trying to determine who is the dictator and who is going to pay for that.”

Members of the city council held a press conference after the court hearing, with Council President Ashby Foote, Angelique Lee, Aaron Banks, Virgi Lindsay, and Brian Grizzell expressing their approval of the decision.

“I want to apologize and tell the citizens that I really appreciate the trauma they have gone through and I hope that we are on to better times now,” Foote stated.

Councilman Banks added that although the situation is not completely resolved, he hopes that the compromise will meet the needs of Jackson residents until a long-term solution is found.

“A lot of the issues that we have and a lot of concerns were not going to be handled in that courtroom,” Banks explained. “Although we do acknowledge there are some things we got to address, the citizens right now needed garbage pickup.”

At this time, the case between the city council and Lumumba has been dismissed. The city council is expected to vote on the emergency contract at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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