Earth Complex

The EARTH COMPLEX logo can be seen on many City Solid Waste vehicles, recycling bins and in various solid waste literature and initiatives, yet many people are probably not aware of its origin or its meaning. To give you a better understanding of this innovative concept, the following explanation is provided.


In the late 1980's City of Memphis officials embarked on a long term plan to develop a more progressive and responsible approach to managing waste disposal. With the advent of new federal and state legislation regarding the disposal of solid waste and sludge, it was felt that Memphis should be more creative and effective in its management of these types of wastes.

The concept began with the City's lease of what is now known as the Pidgeon Industrial Park in southwest Memphis from the Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission. In turn the City would sublease large portions of this acreage to independent farmers for agricultural purposes. Contained in the acreage wetlands came a wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary, which is on the site of the City's existing sludge lagoons. It is this parcel of property which inspired the EARTH COMPLEX logo that today adorns City of Memphis Solid Waste Management equipment and vehicles across the city. The word "EARTH" is derived from - Environmental And Resource TecHnology and "COMPLEX"; refers to the various waste related processing facilities. The bird in the logo is the Black Necked Stilt, a rare bird which for unknown reasons is attracted to the City's sludge holding lagoons. Ornithologists or bird watchers, as they are commonly called, and wild life admirers throughout the nation visit the site often to observe the nesting of the Black Necked Stilt and watch other birds and wildlife.


The EARTH COMPLEX concept has successfully evolved over the years to become far more than what was originally dreamed. Today, the EARTH COMPLEX has grown to include such things as, innovation in solid waste collection and transfer, curbside recycling of household waste, a yard waste mulch and compost program, a sod farm, an outdoor "pumpkin field" classroom for kids, methane gas recovery from sewage treatment lagoons and many other programs and facilities throughout the city.

In summation, the EARTH COMPLEX is much more than just a place or thing, it represents the vision of the City of Memphis in its quest to live in harmony with nature and the environment. For additional information please call 576-6851.

Copyright 2017 City of Memphis
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