City Vista struggles with trash pickup


Confusion with trash pickup schedules has littered the halls of City Vista. illustration by Andrea Nebhut

Correction: This article previously described City Vista’s intention to monitor surveillance footage as a contradiction of previous statements that Ackerman and Flowers gave to the Trinitonian in early September. These references have been removed; the staff’s policy is to review camera footage when prompted by safety concerns.

Trash bags have been accumulating in City Vista stairwells, and Residential Life is concerned that they may pose hazards to residents. ResLife may begin reviewing camera footage in order to fine students who leave trash in the stairwells, but some students are considering providing a solution of their own.

Valet trash service is provided at City Vista, and those who cannot participate in this collection due to scheduling conflicts are asked to take their garbage to the trash compactor. An email detailing proper trash pickup procedures was sent to apartment residents from the official City Vista email address.

“You simply need to place your trash can out in your hallway between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.,” the email reads. “The valet trash service begins to pick up your trash anywhere between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day. Trash bins must be brought back inside of your apartment by 9:00 a.m. the next day.”

Stephanie Ackerman, assistant director for housing operations, says that students are not following these procedures.

“Unfortunately, students are still leaving their trash in the stairwells, and City Vista staff has consistently cleaned up these areas,” wrote Ackerman in an email interview. “Students have received several notices requesting they not leave their trash in the stairwells. Until we find a solution to this issue, we will continue to communicate with our residents regarding the safety hazard this behavior creates.”

So far, no students have been fined for leaving trash in the stairwells.

“We have been taking this opportunity to educate students about the policies and procedures,” wrote Melissa Flowers, director of Residential Life, in an email interview. “We have not yet applied any fines, but we plan to start fining people soon.”

The email sent to residents said that City Vista staff will begin to review camera footage from the stairwell in order to discipline offending students.

“There are cameras located in that stairwell and we will begin to review footage should this continue to be an issue,” the email reads. “Violators will face fines and potential removal from the property if the behavior persists.”

Monty McKeon, junior sociology and political science double major and City Vista resident, believes that it can be difficult to abide by the constraints of the valet trash service for a number of reasons.

“The way it’s supposed to be is you have to have your trash can out and any other trash has to go on top of the trash can,” McKeon said. “When you have situations where they haven’t come, and your trash has built up, that’s not always feasible. There are very specific regulations on what they won’t take, so after a few weeks of that, you have a problem with people just throwing their trash in random places. Even when the trash does get taken, we saw one time that the city itself wasn’t coming to get the trash from the building often enough, and there wasn’t even room in the trash compactor.”

McKeon believes that some kind of change needs to be made with the way that the trash service operates.

“They haven’t made a lot of progress in assessing the situation and figuring out what to do about it. Personally, another solution that I’ve come up with is my trash wagon service,” McKeon said. “I have a dolly and a wagon “” we’re thinking about opening a trash wagon where people can just pay us to take their trash. We’ll do it more regularly, we’ll be more polite about it, we’ll do it on the weekends.”

Another solution that McKeon suggests is that the storage rooms on every floor be turned into trash rooms, similar to how trash service works in the on-campus residence halls.

“We recently held focus groups with City Vista residents,” Ackerman wrote. “The purpose of these focus groups was to collect feedback regarding their overall experience at City Vista thus far. A portion of our discussions focused on the valet trash service. Some students proposed the removal of the valet trash service. In its place, they proposed installing “˜trash rooms’ at the end of each hallway, similar to main campus. At this point, this is merely an option to consider. No decisions have been made.”

Residential life staff are working on solutions for the trash problem in City Vista.

“We have also reached out to the company to discuss modifying the pick-up schedule to be more conducive to student schedules including later hours and perhaps an additional pick-up day for recycling. We have also considered adding large trash bins in hallways or stairwells. The staff is more than happy to discuss other questions or concerns as they arise,” Flowers wrote.

with supplementary reporting by Daniel Conrad