Residents at multiple Houston-area apartments say trash is not being picked up

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A number of apartment complex tenants in the Houston area wrote to ABC13 about trucks failing to pick up the trash from the dumpsters.

Eyewitness News went to check it out and found piles of trash, debris, and junk scattered near dumpsters at Lakecrest Village Apartments on Tidwell Road.

"You are looking at (cigarette) butts, nasty beds, already have bed bugs, roaches," said Kevin Wals, who lives next to the trash.

Residents said the garbage and items surrounding the dumpsters have continued to pile for months, and don't get cleaned up.

"Stuff like this causes rats to come into your apartment," said Cali Jones, the sister of a resident who lives at the apartment complex.

ABC13 took their complaints to management, and a spokesperson sent the following statement:

"Village Apartments management is committed to keeping the property clean and free of trash. We have recently increased the frequency of our regular trash pick-ups each week to accommodate the increased amount of trash being disposed of at the property. We also continue to communicate with residents asking them to refrain from disposing of items such as mattresses, furniture and other items that are not included in the regular pick-up by our trash provider."

Residents in northeast Houston aren't alone, as the same problem is happening at an apartment complex in southeast Houston.

"They are dumping this trash and no one wants to pick it up," said Sylvia Lovett, a resident who has lived there for 10 years.

Garbage is catching the eye of more than just residents at Lanesborough Apartments on Cullen Blvd.

"Possums, raccoons, the coyotes. We see it all," Lovett said.

Another resident, shared photos of the animals rummaging through the dumpster, saying she's afraid to throw her trash out at night.

The property manager, who did not want to be identified, told ABC13 that the problem is some residents who are illegally dumping.

"There's only so much I can do within management," she said. "If they live here and can't clean it up, they can't blame us, because I pay to get contractors out here to pick up the grounds."

The manager shared before and after pictures of clean-up efforts. In one photo, the dumpster and surrounding area are clean and in the next, trash and garbage surround the area.

We asked the manager how to stop the illegal dumping from happening, and she said she isn't sure and is just as frustrated but she is hoping to add security cameras to the parking lot.

Lakecrest Village Apartments and Lanesborough Apartments use the same private contracting company, Waste Connections of Texas, LLC, to pick up the trash. A spokesperson said they recognize the apartment complex has a large amount of bulk waste on their property but the service they provide does not include the removal of waste or bulk items (such as couches and mattresses) that are left outside of the containers or in the waste container enclosure.

A spokesperson for the city of Houston said if residents want a further investigation by the Solid Waste Management Department, they should call 311. In order for them to determine whether the apartment complexes face any inspection violations, there must be a formal complaint.

Waste Connections of Texas, LLC, also sent the following statement:

"Waste Connections of Texas, LLC provides commercial waste collection service to Lakecrest Village Apartments out of our Houston North location. We service this account through a broker who manages the apartment's waste disposal contract. We service five 8-yard waste containers four days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. We have consistently provided complete service of their containers, including all scheduled service this week. The service that we provide includes the removal of standard municipal solid waste that is placed within our containers. Our service does not include removal of waste or bulk items (such as couches and mattresses) that are left outside of the containers or in the waste container enclosure. We recognize that the apartment complex has a large amount of bulk waste on their property outside of their containers. We have provided solutions for this waste removal to the complexs broker, but to date have not received approval on our proposed solutions. Waste Connections of Texas, LLC also provides commercial waste collection service to Lansbourough Apartments out of our Houston South location. We service four 8-yard waste containers three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We have provided consistent service to this customer with the same waste removal agreement which states that we will dispose of all waste placed inside of the containers. Bulky items and waste on the ground around the container is the responsibility of the customer to maintain. We are happy to provide extra pick-ups and increase their number of services day in order to accommodate for their excess waste. We will continue to provide consistent service to our customers and look forward to finding a mutually agreed upon solutions for their bulk and excess waste needs."

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