Out the door Featured

8:01pm EDT June 30, 2011
Out the door

The day came when Michael Ferris was fined one too many times by his property manager for leaving his trash outside the door rather than hauling it down three flights of stairs and across the complex to the trash compactor. He reasoned that there had to be a better idea ? and Valet Waste was born.

Ferris decided to start a service for residents in his apartment complex so he would haul their trash to the compactor and save them the grind of toting it themselves. It was a success: 90 percent of the residents signed up.

Over the next six years, Ferris developed improvements to the business. It became a full waste and recycling service provider by offering compactors, roll-offs, bulk removal, valet doorstep trash removal and recycling initiatives. In a word, it revolutionized the way trash and recycling materials are collected and controlled in the multifamily housing industry nationwide.

Ferris attributes his success to all the hard work and personal sacrifices he made during the company’s early years. He put up everything he owned as collateral to obtain a business loan. In 2006, the company was acquired by a private equity firm, and since that acquisition has expanded into more than 20 states and more than 200,000 apartment communities. Valet Waste launched its Green Initiative in 2009 to encourage recycling efforts by leveraging its valet trash pickup services to provide five-nights-a-week pickup of recyclable items at the resident’s doorstep. Initial results show that there is from 30 to 75 percent participation among the properties, compared to an 8 percent national average.

Future plans include expansion into metropolitan areas and hiring 300 employees and up to 1,000 additional contractors to assist in trash collection.

Ferris has set high standards for his employees. All undergo full background checks, wear uniforms and drive branded vehicles. He believes in hiring well, training well and developing well.

How to reach: Valet Waste, (877) 574-2587 or www.valetwaste.com