VALET TRASH SERVICES UPDATE
The North Carolina Building Code Council voted unanimously to amend the state fire code to include recognition of
door-step trash collection from apartment residences. This amendment will legitimize valet trash services and finally establishes consistency of operation and enforcement throughout the state. The amended language will be reviewed a final time in the Rules Review Commission. This is the final phase of the BCC process and we anticipate this to be a formality before the commission releases the rules around February 1. Minor provisions are expected to follow behind the amended language in a separate proposal that will further support the amended language and satisfy the terms/conditions that were previously agreed upon. This includes defining valet trash service, replacing references of “R2 occupancies” with “apartment occupancy”, formally give the Department of Insurance the authority to maintain, design and monitor valet trash services through the registration process and finally adding language that recognizes that the community could lose the service if rules are violated for both property and service providers. This proposal will cycle through the BCC process fully and will be approved and reflected in the updated fire code come 2021.
Among other things, the rules will require that the service be performed via trash containers that meet the code’s standards for combustible materials – the first time the stringent standards will be applied to containers as small as the ones used for this service. Each resident of an apartment community receives typically a single kitchen-style container to put out into a corridor or breezeway with their trash or recycling up to five nights a week. This will be considered an approved “alternative method” until Jan 1, 2021. Once the fire code is formally updated this rule will be directly incorporated into it. Service providers have until then to retrofit existing and new clients with the mandated containers.
The Association is very pleased with the outcome of this ruling. After the initial enforcement issues began in the summer of 2018, we have worked to achieve this outcome not only within the BCC but also through the legislative process this year. The Apartment Association, Valet Living, along with other stakeholders and the support from our members were able to impress upon the Building Code Council and legislators that valet trash services is a vital component to our industry and the communities we serve. Thank you for all that you have done to contribute to this effort. We can close out the year knowing that the longevity of valet trash services in North Carolina has been secured.