Best Value Services customers should have seen their accumulated trash picked up last week. Here’s what’s next for customers of the troubled company.
Update: 10/13/22, 4 p.m. We originally reported that a company had agreed to provide pickup services for Best Value customers through the end of the year without additional payment. We have been informed by Air Capital that they will continue service for Best Value customers through the end of October. If Best Value customers sign up for service before the end of the month, Air Capital will credit them the amount of their prepayment to Best Value through the end of 2022.
Residents’ struggle with trash pickup from Best Value Services appears to be over. Best Value owner Solomon Tafasse says he’s decided to call it quits and has made arrangements to transfer service to another company.
After months of struggling to keep up with residential trash pickup, the company announced Oct. 12 it was discontinuing service.
“I just couldn’t keep fighting it anymore,” said Tafasse, “but I’m not abandoning anyone.”
Instead, Tafasse said he is strategically transitioning service.
Last week his company picked up all existing trash and he’s made arrangements for an existing trash company with more trucks to continue trash service for his nearly 5,000 customers.
Service will continue for customers who have paid in advance through the end of the month at no additional cost. Service will even continue for people who haven’t paid for service but that are still active on his customer list.
That company, Air Capital Waste, has agreed to credit Best Value customers who sign up with them for service during the upcoming two weeks, for any service they may have prepaid Best Value through the end of 2022.
“I would recommend that residents who are losing service (1) reach out to their neighborhood association to see if a deal has been made with another company for a neighborhood rate or (2) begin reaching out to other sanitation services companies to see who offers the best rates for your budget or may match what you previously had with Best Value.”
Mark Raccuglia, co-owner of Air Capital Waste, says individuals should move quickly to secure new service, because a lot of trash services are currently experiencing a shortage of containers.
With so many customers potentially changing service, providers may not be able to accommodate them all.
At this point it’s not clear what will happen with or who will pick up Best Value containers for individuals who change service. Raccuglia, says he has made an offer to purchase the containers, but nothing has been finalized at this point.
Tafasse says despite offering a starting pay of $25 per hour for trashmen, he struggled to find employees who could pass the drug and background check. In addition, he couldn’t find truck mechanics and had difficulty acquiring the parts he needed to keep his trucks running.
Best Value was one of only a few Black-owned trash services still operating in Wichita. The only other Black-owned service The Community Voice could identify is MT McCray.
While transition to the new service may be convenient, City Council member Brandon Johnson suggested the following:
Tafasse said he was disappointed it had to end like this.
“I’m 69,” he said. “It’s best to retire and let it go.”
This story was updated 10/13/22, 4 p.m.