Area apartment dwellers pay for trash collection and recycling from a private company, but what they are getting is trashed
As apartment communities try everything that they can to separate themselves from the pack in the eyes of consumers, one national company which operates here in Corpus Christi promises to deliver doorstep trash and recycling services to those who live in area apartment communities. Residents pay as much as $50 per month for this service which promises to help the environment by ensuring that recyclables are properly disposed of. But is this company really living up to their commitment to their customers and to the environment?
WastePoint Doorstep Trash and Recycling Services has offices in Ohio, Indiana and Texas, with services in cities all in between. Their Texas headquarters is in San Antonio, which is the office that services here in Corpus Christi. The company promises to deliver on their environmentally responsible program and ensure that apartment complexes and their residents stay within local recycling ordinances. But after weeks of investigating, we have learned that this company does far from that. In fact, here in Corpus Christi, the company is bordering on being negligent when it comes to the environment.
Customers are required to separate recyclable materials into blue trash bins which are designated by the company as for recyclables only. However, during the evening hours on most weekdays, these trash collectors just drag a larger bin behind them tossing recyclables and household garbage into the same bin without separation or by having a way to recognize the difference between the two.
The waste handlers just grab the bags and toss them into a bin, then into a pickup and right into the general garbage dumpster. Beyond that, one numerous occasions, we have followed their collection crews from complex to complex as litter that remained in the bed of their truck blew out of the bed onto our city streets.
Several times last week we reached out to WastePoint for an explanation—they have yet to return our calls. The same goes for the property management companies that use the company and charge their residents for this service.
The city of Corpus Christi goes to great lengths to ensure that residents both understand and comply with recycling programs and yet, this company seems to obviously pay a total disregard for the program.
Because of this carelessness, everything from household chemicals to dirty diapers are ending up in landfills where they do not belong and the property management companies and those private companies who are responsible for at least some of the collection doesn’t seem to care.
So what can be done? Unfortunately, the answer is unclear. Residents could just start doing it themselves, but property management companies often markup these services and require residents to pay for the service regardless of if they use it or not. Code Enforcement hands are likely tied and little could be done to ensure proper compliance. However, those who do care for the environment and pay for the services are left with one option—demand compliance and monitoring from their property management company.
WastePoint claims to be part of a nationwide payola of trade organizations such as the National Multifamily Housing Council and National Apartment Association—questionable organizations who claim to represent legitimate communities and their vendors for a membership fee. Both organizations do little, if anything to regulate both the property management companies or their vendors, which should upset and outrage apartment dwellers who are being forced pay for services that are improperly delivered.
At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the consumer to be their own advocate and ensure that companies like WastePoint are properly delivering what you pay for and that apartment management companies are representing you—which they are nearly all guilty of not doing.
As for WastePoint, several residents have begun the process of filing complaints with the city and even the state about the negligence of the self proclaimed “environmentally responsible” company. It’s unclear what or if anything will be done.
We will keep you updated.