Reliability, convenience and affordability have always been among the trademarks for CheckSammy’s waste hauling service for apartment management companies.
But in the case of Dallas-based Westdale Real Estate Investment & Management, the Texas freeze in February magnified the service company’s value when it rescued 26 properties during the brunt of the unprecedented winter weather with some timely service.
Asset manager Brandon Finch said waste haulers were not able to travel to many communities because of the poor conditions.
“Check Sammy was slammed, handling the many clients they were able to reach as best they could,” he said. “But when we texted with company representatives, we were able to get some pickups when we really needed them – and that was pretty rare given the power and climate conditions.”
Finch communicated with CheckSammy for service by email, through its broker CASS or through CheckSammy’s partnership with Waste Management.
It had been about 1.5 weeks without pickups overall, said Finch, who had used CheckSammy on spot occasions the prior nine months for his portfolio that covers many parts of Texas.
“There were so really bad waste overflows from all that inactivity,” he said. “Residents were still generating waste. More than you’d think. The service reps from the carriers who were your regular haulers said they would not do return trips because they wanted to at least service all their customers at least once. They took what they could from one tip.”
To counter that situation, Finch’s communities worked with CheckSammy and timed it so that when Westdale’s regular hauler came, CheckSammy would follow-up right behind them and take away the overflow.
Texas Storms Cause Excess Junk Removal
CheckSammy also specializes in subscription service, on-demand bulk junk removal. And there was plenty of junk in Texas in late February and the weeks after.
“As pipes burst, there was flooding, and an excess of carpeting, padding, flooring and drywall that needed to be taken away,” Finch said. “CheckSammy was able to come out and take all of it away. It can be hit-or-miss and more expensive when using other junk haulers. CheckSammy’s pricing was fair and transparent.”
And CheckSammy’s invoicing is included on our bill from WasteManagement, which makes it simpler for our accounting team to process.
“We will continue to use them in bulk situations where properties do not already have a preferred vendor or agreement,” Finch said. “And we will also look at test-driving their subscription-based model at a few of our properties where it makes sense.”
Helping to Minimize Costly Regulations
Finch said regulations make Austin a really tough and expensive market for waste hauling because of its recycling requirements. It has a 75 percent diversion rate rule.
“We are required to have four pickups per week, and when they come, the containers might not even be half-full,” he said. “We are way over-serviced there.”
Bulk junk removal typically is a headache – and that’s even considering the eviction moratoriums of the past year, Finch said.
“In these cases, at our properties that are ungated, or where the waste containers are outside the gate, there are a lot of non-residents dumping bulk junk [illegally] to get rid of materials used while they fix up their own homes,” he said. “They leave appliances, mattresses, furniture, you name it.”
How expensive? A 455-unit Westdale property in Atlanta has spent $33,000 in bulk junk removal cost in the past 13 months. Finch said a cost-analysis on the value of bringing the container inside the gate is underway. It would cost about $90,000 to do so.
Finch said for now he’s needing to set up roll-off containers (30- or 40-foot open top containers) and staging areas.
“For roll-offs, when you consider the rental, the delivery and the waste pickup, that can cost $600 for just one servicing,” he said.
When will it end? Finch says that last week while he was walking some properties in Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth, every one had a minimum of a mattress, couch and table near the Dumpster.
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