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Trash pickup to continue in Jackson as Richard’s Disposal and city officials reach agreement

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Less than 24 hours before Mississippi’s capital city was set to enter into a full-on trash crisis, officials have reached an agreement with Richard’s Disposal that will continue garbage collection across Jackson.

Jackson City Council attorney DeShun Martin told WAPT on Friday that the city has agreed to pay Richard’s Disposal the $4.8 million owed for the last six months of work. The news comes just one day after Richard’s Disposal announced it would cease all trash collection if not paid by Saturday.

For over a year now, the Jackson City Council and Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba have argued about which waste disposal contractor should be awarded a contract with the capital city. The disagreement began in August 2021, with Lumumba issuing an emergency contract for six additional months with Waste Management — the prior trash pickup company used in Jackson — before the September contract would end one month later.

After six months passed, Lumumba issued another emergency declaration regarding the trash disposal contracts in early February, later awarding the contract to Richard’s Disposal. The council then passed for the continuation of Lumumba’s state of emergency, but removed Richard’s Disposal from the declaration and replaced it with Waste Management.

A council meeting was held on March 8 where the council made a final vote against the emergency contract with Richard’s Disposal twice. The final vote was 4-1 with one abstaining both times.

Since then, there has not been a valid contract between either waste disposal company, resulting in uncertainty on who would pick up trash for the residents in Jackson. Richard’s Disposal, however, continued operations across the capital city without payment — that is until Friday.

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