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Misti McCloud, who lives at Eaves Fair Lakes apartment complex in Fairfax, said the trash at her apartment is not getting picked up. It is a part of a series of apartments by Avalon, including other communities in Fairfax, Reston, and the Mosaic District.

“Bags of trash are left strewn in the roads of the neighborhood, attracting rodents and vermin, but the property management team refuses to fix the situation,” she explained.

McCloud and other residents of the Avalon community are required by the property to pay $25 per month for valet trash pickup. Each unit pays $300 a year for a service that they are not able to opt-out of, and that service is not being delivered, she said.

According to the Eaves Fair Lakes website, valet trash service is supposed to be delivered five days per week. However, there are no specific utility responsibility prices listed for those wanting to move into the apartment complex, and instead listing “Resident”.

According to Apartments.com, valet trash removal involves a valet waste company contracted by the property management company. It is supposed to be a convenience to be able to leave your trash outside of your apartment and have someone else take your trash for you. Valet trash would also be a safer option to avoid emptying trash at night. The main difference between regular residential trash removal and valet trash removal is that valet trash is picked up right outside the apartment door, instead of a residential trash can at the curb.

More than 90 percent of residents and businesses in Fairfax County have a private collection company pick up trash and recycling.

Problems with valet trash have been happening across the United States and locally as well. In Birmingham, Ala., instances of valet trash not being picked up have been common, with it being attributed to the labor shortage of truck drivers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In nearby Adelphi, Md., The Gallery on New Hampshire apartment complex is also having issues with trash piling up in place due to the valet trash service failing to pick up five nights a week.

AvalonBay Communities did not respond to questions and did not give information on who is contracted for valet trash.

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