Plans discussed for Memphis solid waste pickup

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- City officials are discussing plans to overhaul the collection of solid waste in Memphis, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. marched in support of sanitation workers' jobs 45 years ago.

Memphis Chief Administrative Officer George Little presented a proposal during a meeting Thursday that could result in $5.4 million in savings to the city, partly by eliminating older garbage trucks that require heavy maintenance.

Savings also would come from a reduction of about 100 Solid Waste Department employees. Those employees would be offered a city-backed retirement plan for the first time since the department's historic strike in 1968.

The sanitation workers' union is negotiating with the city. The union has been trying to stave off privatization, which could result in job cuts of more than 500 workers.

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