NAA Special Report: Keeping Your Campus Beautiful and Sustainable

A look at how the ValetWaste Campus program keeps "student housing tidier, safer and greener."

Jessica H

Jessica Hernandez, National Director of Campus Services, ValetWaste Campus

Chicago—Late in the first day of this year’s NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition, attendees listened to presenters discussing ways to keep student housing tidier, safer and greener. The occasion was a ValetWaste Campus program in the Learning Zone called “Keeping Your Campus Beautiful and Sustainable.”

ValetWaste Campus is a seven-nights-a-week doorstep waste collection and recycling service that helps control the excessive waste that can make student housing less presentable. “This generation is all about convenience,” said Jessica Hernandez, national director of campus services for Tampa, Fla.-based ValetWaste Campus, referring to the members of Generation Z currently walking the halls of academia.

“People get Amazon Prime deliveries overnight, they get their groceries delivered. Our service ensures their trash is picked up seven days a week. Along with convenience comes safety. Parents like the service because they know their daughters or sons are getting their trash picked up every evening. They don’t have to take out the trash to a dumpster or community compactor in what may be a dark, secluded disposal area.”

Hernandez emphasizes ValetWaste Campus can be seen as another amenity student housing operators can provide residents and their parents. “Amenities like pools are used only occasionally, but this is seven days a week, so it’s a differentiator,” she said.

The service provided by ValetWaste Campus also enhances curb appeal, Hernandez said. It helps the management’s staff keep the property aesthetically pleasing. Waste and refuse is no longer visible to those taking part in leasing tours. The drips and stains associated with trash receptacles are virtually eliminated, she said.

There’s also a sustainability and green story. “We do recycle and that’s a huge priority for us,” Hernandez said.

For student housing owners and operators, ValetWaste Campus provides maintenance efficiencies that allow management teams to spend their time on service requests and general property maintenance, rather than having to deal with waste stream control.

Each property is assigned a dedicated on-site district manager acquainted with both the property and its staff, who is accountable for the service to that property. The company maintains a uniformed W-2 employee workforce and doesn’t use independent contractors. The service valets undergo a background check and are insured to reduce property liability. Teams receive instruction on the use and implementation of OSHA-certified cross-contamination chemicals. Residents or their parents can contact ValetWaste 24-hour Customer Care by phone, email, web form submission or live chat.

The company’s proprietary mobile phone app called iValet lets users monitor the service provided by ValetWaste Campus, accessing activity reports that delineate the service start and completion time for the property and identify the valet servicing each refuse area, from common area waste containers to pet waste stations.

According to Hernandez, ValetWaste Campus currently services 900,000 units in 45 states, and is growing at a 20-to-30-percent clip a year. “What parent would not pay $60 a year to know his daughter doesn’t have to take out the garbage every evening?” she asked. “We’re removing one of parents’ stressors.”

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