Valet Waste: Meaning – Benefits, Problems, Etiquette and Price


Imagine this: you just got back from work, and you have a bag full of particularly smelly garbage that you need to get rid of. Your unit is quite a distance from the community dumpster, and you need to take the stairs. How do you avoid a situation like this? This post takes a look at valet waste, which might just be the option for you.

Valet Waste: Meaning – Benefits, Problems – Etiquette and Price: Valet waste removal, sometimes known as valet trash removal, is a service that is offered by some apartment communities where a valet worker collects your trash from your doorstep on scheduled days. The trash valet works for the valet waste company contracted by the property management company that manages your apartment building. The valet waste company is in charge of providing bins for every unit, as well as designating specific times for residents to leave their trash out for collection.

There are many benefits to valet waste, including:

  • It saves you from having to carry a bag full of trash to the dumpster
  • It contributes to a cleaner apartment community
  • It can easily be added to monthly rental dues

While the service is beneficial, it also has several downsides, including:

  • The fixed trash pickup schedule can be an inconvenience for some residents
  • Trash bins can make the building’s hallways look untidy

To have a great experience with valet waste, here are some etiquette tips to consider:

  • Bag and tie all the trash before placing it in the provided bin
  • Have your valet trash bin outside your door before the scheduled pickup time

Like a valet parking service, valet waste involves another person performing the task for you for a specified fee. All you are required to do is set out the trash on your doorstep during the designated hours. Read on to find out more about valet waste removal.

What is valet waste?

This is a door-to-door waste and recycling service often found in multi-family properties such as apartment communities, condominiums, senior living communities, and student housing. Property amenities are usually beneficial to residents, but it’s not often you’ll find the same service offer such benefits to owners and building managers. When defining valet waste, you’ll want to focus on the following main points:

  • Valet waste is a service job
  • Valet waste companies typically work closely with property management companies
  • There are three parties involved: the valet waste company, the residents, and the property management company.

How does it work?

Here is a general overview of how valet waste works:

  • Residents are provided with trash containers – Each apartment resident in the building is provided with a company-branded trash container. An efficient valet trash container should:
  • Be made of durable material – Valet trash containers take a lot of physical abuse – accidentally being dropped or kicked by residents, falling down the stairs, and falling as the valet takes out the waste. Durable, hard plastic is the most suitable material to reduce the occurrence of splits and tears in the material. A technical term for this type of plastic molding is thermoset or thermosetting plastics.
  • Feature an attached lid – An efficient valet trash container should have lids that are attached, preferably with a small hook on the container to allow for easy removal.
  • Have the company logo and business information – Ideally, the valet trash container should have the following: the phone number embossed on the side so that a resident can find it easily; the logo of the valet waste company; and the business name.
  • Residents set out the trash container on their doorsteps – The unit resident uses the trash container, and when it’s full, they set out the trash can with the bagged and tied up garbage bag in it outside their door in the hallway before the designated collection time. For example, residents will have from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Sundays through Thursdays to leave their trash containers out on their doorsteps before the valet waste team arrives for pickup beginning at 8:00 pm, or shortly thereafter.
  • The valet waste workers show up for collection – The valet waste team shows up at the designated time and uses the proper equipment to start servicing trash bags set outside the doorways. Equipment use may include:
  • An over-the-shoulder valet bag – The valet waste collectors have a shoulder harnessed, anti-drip collection container in which can put the trash they collect from residents’ doorsteps.
  • Reflective vest – Reflective vests make it easy for valet waste workers, who mostly work at night or early in the morning, to be seen. 
  • Gloves – Gloves keep the workers’ hands protected as they handle trash bags and dumpsters.

Most companies send professional, clean-cut uniformed valets so that residents can have an easy time pointing them out. 

The valet waste team typically begins at the furthest point away from the community dumpster and starts to pick up the trash bags, filling their collection containers, and disposing of the garbage into the community dumpsters. They continue to pick up the trash bags until the whole property has been serviced. While they collect the trash, they will take note of any valet waste violations and let the property management know. They do this same service for a specified number of days (Sunday through Thursday, for example).

  • The trash bags are taken to an onsite dumpster -All the trash bags collected in the apartment complex are taken to the on-site dumpster or compactor for disposal. 
  • Valet waste workers pick up any loose trash – Any loose trash that may be found around the dumpsters is picked up by the valet waste collectors.
  • The valet waste service leaves the property – Once all the tasks have been completed, the valet waste service leaves the property.
  • Residents bring their trash containers back inside – After residents have their trash collected, they are typically required to bring their trash containers back inside their homes by a certain time. For example, if the valet waste service comes for pickup between 8:00 pm and midnight, you may have until 9:00 am the following morning to bring your bin back inside your unit.

What are the benefits of valet waste collection?

There are multiple reasons why valet waste is considered a luxury amenity in housing units. Here are some reasons why the demand for this service is increasing:

1. Convenience

Convenience is the most prominent of all the benefits that come with having a valet waste service. Just think of how useful such a service would be for a stay-at-home mom who has to deal with several kids all at once, or even individuals who may be recovering from a surgery or illness. Having the option to set the trash outside your door can also be a huge timesaver – do you have a flight to catch? Are you working late? It may not sound significant, but having those ten extra minutes that you might have spent hauling your trash to the dumpster may be all you need.

2. It contributes to a clean community

As a resident, having the option to place your trash and recycling at your doorstep reduces the occurrence of energy drink bottles, empty takeaway packages, and other trash strewn up on the community grounds or common areas. Besides, if trash somehow finds its way onto the stairs or lawns, the valet waste services always offer the option of picking up loose trash from the community areas. This also helps to alleviate the time that maintenance would have had to spend to keep the community clean.

3. It makes recycling easy

Most apartment communities do not support a consistent recycling program. Some property managers may put a recycling bin or two near the community dumpsters, but in most cases, residents will fill those up with non recyclable items. Even so, two or three recycling bins that are provided are hardly enough to handle the amount of recyclables generated by an entire complex of residents. 

Many valet waste services encourage recycling at your doorstep, so there is no reason not to separate the trash from the recyclables. Having a recycling bin all to yourself right at your door makes recycling much easier. 

4. It’s simple and helps to save time

As an apartment dweller, you may not have the time or space to sort or store recyclables. Recycling may often mean having to drive to your local recycling center, and after a long week of work and life and work, you may not have the energy for all this. To have a valet waste recycling service that takes the recycling to the recycling bins saves you time and money without compromising the well-being of the environment.

5. It allows residents to avoid inclement weather

If you have to walk all the way to a central dumpster location, there’s no  two ways about it – whether it’s snowing, raining, or windy, the trash must be taken out. Having a valet waste service means you don’t have to go further than your doorstep to take out the trash, especially when the weather is unfavorable.

6. It can help landlords/property managers retain current residents

Residents aren’t the only ones who benefit from valet waste services – property management companies can benefit as well. When the property management opts to invest in this convenient and helpful service, it makes residents comfortable and happy in their units (especially if it’s well-executed) and gives them a reason to maintain their tenancy. 

7. It can increase the property value

In addition to keeping current tenants happy, having a service like valet waste can attract new tenants. An increase in the number of residents will keep units at capacity, which in turn results in an increase in the funds that the property management company needs to maintain the units, enhance the grounds, and add other beneficial services.

8. Beneficial to seniors and disabled members of the community

For the residents who rely on a cane or wheelchair to help them get around, or generally have limited mobility, the demand of taking out the trash is not easy to manage. A luxury amenity such as valet waste limits the effort they have to put in as most of the work is done for them.

9. It can lower the chance of crime

With trash valets playing a visible role in an apartment complex or multifamily community, valet waste service can serve as a deterrent for opportunistic criminals. Picture this: five nights a week, a valet waste employee arrives on the grounds of the property to collect each unit’s trash. How comfortable is a common thief going to be with an employee roaming the grounds? A valet waste employee isn’t a replacement for proper security measures, but having someone go door to door several times a week can make residents feel safer.

10. It can help create extra space

Apartment communities don’t need that many dumpsters when they opt for valet waste service. Dumpsters that are hardly used can be consolidated to make room for other amenities such as more parking spaces.

What are the downsides?

1. It can lead to residents abusing the system

A valet waste system can lead to residents permanently leaving trash containers outside their doors, causing hallways and other common areas to smell like garbage.

2. The fixed schedule may be unfavorable for some

With a valet waste service, residents are required to follow the trash pickup schedule which can sometimes be inconvenient. 

3. The issue with bulk trash

Valet waste creates the question about what to do with bulk trash, such as large cardboard boxes or old furniture as they do not fit in the provided trash containers.

How much does valet waste charge?

When a valet waste service is offered in an apartment building, it is often a mandatory amenity that carries a monthly fee that ranges between $25 and $35 per month. While some may view this as an unnecessary expense, even communitiesbefore that don’t offer valet waste still charge a trash removal fee that goes towards dumpster maintenance.

Valet waste etiquette

Here are some useful tips for having a good experience with valet waste:

  • Make sure that all of your trash is securely bagged and tied, with no loose items floating around the provided trash container.
  • Keep all your trash bags under 25 lbs. each.
  • Double bag diapers and pet litter
  • Be aware of the rules of your specific valet waste service, including the items that they will or won’t accept in and around your bin.

Final thoughts

Valet waste is an undeniably convenient service. In addition to saving you from having to haul your trash from one place to another, it also promotes cleanliness, among other benefits. To get the most out of your valet waste, you’ll want to adhere to the rules or guidelines put in place, such as the specific collection days and the types of bags you can use to put your trash in.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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