Archive for July, 2019

Downtown, Memphis In May and Mud Island

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

July 30, 2019


Downtown, Memphis In May and Mud Island


I have lived in Memphis all my life, born and raised here and love the City. It is beautiful, livable and poised for a great future. I worked for over 40 years in the downtown area (south Memphis) and ate lunch downtown several times a week.


After retirement I do not go downtown as much as I used to. However I went downtown recently on a visit to look at the areas that are now in active dispute, Tom Lee Park and Mud Island. In the interest of full disclosure, I have children who actively participate in the barbecue festival, and they love it.


I drove down Poplar and went to the Mud Island parking area over the bridge and around the circle. I noted the huge number of apartments on my left as I drove south to Mud Island. I first saw the structure shown below and wondered what is was. I was later told it was the structure that used to hold the Memphis Belle World War II famous bomber which is now at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton Ohio.



Then I drove on to the parking area which had many warning signs that I had to pay to park and I only had to text a number and then enter another number to pay. I eventually just parked and said the hell with it and walked to the entrance to the park.

It was a beautiful day and there were a few kids and parents and no problem with crowds. I was amazed at the beautiful buildings that comprise the park and how much money we have spent on this investment. It is beautiful, unique and totally underutilized. What is the solution?


My immediate thought is why not build a parking facility where the Memphis Belle structure is to make visits easier. Provide golf cart type electric vehicles for those who do not want to walk. Put casual eating and drinking facilities along the way with views of the river. For elegant dining reopen the beautiful restaurant that is already there. Repair the tram that I understand is now inoperative. The key is making it easy and fun for people to come and enjoy Mud Island and the river.


But there is possibly a problem and that is the split between north and south Memphis. The dividing line is Monroe and Front. In my Father’s Day as he grew up in South Memphis he said it was worth your life to cross Poplar and date a young North Memphis lady. He survived and so will we.


After my visit to Mud Island I drove down to Tom Lee Park and noted the wasted investment in the riverboat landing with its red ugly circular spiral and money losing useless restaurant. Surely we can come up with a plan that unites south and north downtown Memphis interests and allows the Barbeque festival and Beale Street interests to prosper and also bring back the large Mud Island investment to its initial bright goals without bankrupting our great City.

What is the difference between a garbage can and a recycle bin?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

What is the difference between a garbage can and a recycle bin?

July 2, 2019

Recently I sent an open records request to the City of Memphis asking them for the following information.

“What is the total poundage of recycle material for the last 3-month period picked up by the City? How much of this has been recycled and how much has gone into the general landfill? How has the recycled material been disposed of?”

About a month later I got a message that the requested information was not available, and my open records request was closed.

Most Memphis and Germantown residents have a garbage can and a recycle bin which is picked up by the cities. But because of international situations and economic factors, recyclable material properly collected is no longer marketable. Therefore, my question is what is happening to the material that has been collected as recycle material?

Most people want to do the right thing and do not want to litter our world and our city with trash. What can be done with our garbage that makes sense?

As for myself I put mostly the following items into my garbage and recycle bins.

  • Soft drink bottles, mineral water and fruit juice containers made from PETE plastic (polyethylene terephthalate)
  • Milk jugs, cleaning agents, laundry detergents, shampoo, washing and shower soap bottles, HDPE plastic (high density polyethylene).
  • Shopping bags, highly resistant sacks and wrappings made from LDPE plastic (low-density polyethylene)
  • There are other plastics such as PP (polypropylene, furniture, luggage toys etc) and such items as nylons and Fiberglas.

The 2 items I see the most of that are not recyclable are PS (polystyrene, carryaway food containers) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride, plastic packaging, bubble foil and food foils to wrap foodstuff). They are light weight, but they take up a lot of space in the garbage can.

What are other cities doing with this recycle problem? Here if some information from a recent article.


Philadelphia is now burning about half of its 1.5 million residents’ recycling material in an incinerator that converts waste to energy. In Memphis, the international airport still has recycling bins around the terminals, but every collected can, bottle and newspaper are sent to a landfill. And last month, officials in the central Florida city of Deltona faced the reality that, despite their best efforts to recycle, their curbside program was not working and suspended it. Those are just three of the hundreds of towns and cities across the country that have canceled recycling programs, limited the types of material they accepted or agreed to huge price increases.


What are Memphis and Germantown doing? The citizens in Shelby County need an answer to what is currently going on with our garbage and recycle material as the public wants to help keep our cities beautiful and clean. Does anyone have more information? I would like to know.