D.C. 'Trash Valet' Service Sparks Apartment Controversy

WASHINGTON -- However swanky it may sound, "valet trash collection" is proving irksome to some area apartment-dwellers.

The addition of this new "amenity" at a D.C. apartment building has some residents fuming that they’re being forced to pay for unwanted services, and has sparked heated discussions about everything from laziness to the potential embarrassment of guests seeing garbage-strewn hallways.

On Thursday afternoon, a resident of Axiom at Capitol Yards posted a diatribe on popular neighborhood blog Prince of Petworth about the complex's decision to offer a nightly trash pick-up service. The building distributed trash bins and encouraged tenants to leave their refuse in the hallway for collection each weeknight.

But even if tenants want to keep things old school and haul their trash down the hall to the chute located on each floor, according to the poster, they will still have to pay a $25 "trash convenience fee" each month. (Here's the apartment building's flier outlining the new service -- it describes some fines and fees to be levied against those who commit protocol violations like leaving waste containers out beyond designated times.)

"This is so stupid I just had to share," wrote the person who contacted the Prince of Petworth, vowing not to renew his lease.

Dozens of commenters weighed in throughout the afternoon, a few defending the service as a convenient upgrade, but many bringing their own stinging critiques and mockery.

Some expressed concern that trash waiting to be picked up outside apartment doors could constitute a fire hazard, and others worried about the icky ambience that trash might create in the building.

"This actually sounds awful. I wouldn't want to have to come home to a hallway full of trash cans. Ugly and smelly," wrote one anonymous poster. "Also your guests would have to see all of this garbage in the hallway as well -- how embarrassing!"

Readers lamented the recent movement of the Buzzuto Group, Camden and Archstone management companies to embrace the extra amenity/charge at many of their buildings, both in D.C. and elsewhere around the country.

Among area buildings embracing "5 night a week doorstep valet trash collection" -- drawing a negative response from some residents -- are two Virginia buildings, Camden Dulles Station and Bozzuto's Monroe Place in Herndon.

After commenters tired of bashing the building managers, however, the Prince of Petworth thread slowly devolved into a wistful conversation. Some posters discussed more attractive potential building amenities, like parties, coffee and free breakfast pastries. One simply expressed a wish for old age to come sooner:

"I am so ready for my fancy retirement home, but I’ve got another 30-some-odd years to go."