KPRC 2 Investigates: Trash workers caught on camera not recycling

Watch the KPRC 2 Investigates story above

How would you feel if you found out all your hard work at protecting the environment, separating your recyclables from your normal trash, was for nothing. That your trash collection company was actually working against you, throwing all your trash. And the recyclables that should be recycled and the regular trash all go into a landfill and they’re charging you extra money for it to boot. KPRC 2 Investigates obtained video footage of the trash workers in action and we tracked down the company owner to get answers.

Recyclables thrown in with the trash?

Connie D’Souza and her husband Manfred are big on the environment and passionate about recycling. Every week, they take the time to separate their recyclable materials from the regular trash.

“I mean we are all trying to help the environment,” Connie D’Souza explained. “It takes an effort you know, everybody a little bit of effort to help save us.”

So just imagine how Connie D’Souza felt when she saw video of the garbage men from her trash collection company, Texas Pride Disposal, throwing her regular trash and her recyclable trash, all into the same big container.

Connie D’Souza actually caught them in the act.

“I was like, ‘Hey, what’s the deal here, why are you throwing our recycle in with regular trash?’ And they said, ‘Oh it’s just a one-time deal.’”

In fact, KPRC 2 obtained video from neighborhood surveillance cameras of Texas Pride workers doing this again and again at the Capital Oaks Townhomes on Rusk Street.

“They’re lying, they’re ripping us off,” said Connie D’Souza. “You know we’re paying the fee to get this done, but we’re not getting the service.”

Connie D’Souza walked us through what neighborhood cameras have captured. In the video, you can see the worker picking up the plain trash in the trash bin and dumping the recyclable bin items right on top.

Zarin Imam and her husband Jonathan are also committed to recycling. They are furious, saying Texas Pride is working against them.

“Provide the service that you say you’re going to,” said Zarin Imam. “How many other neighborhoods are they doing this in?”

Texas Pride history with upset customers

All told, Texas Pride serves close to 250,000 customers located in Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria and Montgomery counties.

In June, KPRC 2 Investigates reported on the company missing trash pickup days in Spring. Back in 2019, Investigator Amy Davis marched into the Texas Pride headquarters after no one would respond to her questions about customer complaints.

The Better Business Bureau has given Texas Pride Disposal an “F” rating. Complaints vary from missed trash pickups to problems actually getting a trash bin.

KPRC 2 Investigates asks company owner tough questions

Our KPRC 2 Investigates team reached company owner Kevin Atkinson, to find out how this could be happening.

“That is a violation of the contract you have with these people, you’re supposed to separate this stuff, you guys aren’t doing it, why not?” asks KPRC 2′s Bill Spencer.

“I believe this is something isolated to just a few communities, it was a decision by a driver that went against what we instructed him to do,” said Atkinson.

“There are multiple guys doing this, it’s not one guy,” said Spencer. “Not one guy. It is the whole team that will be accountable here.”

“I’m looking for action here, I’m asking if you are willing to write a check to this HOA, they spend roughly a $1,000 a year more for recycling, are you willing to give them $500 of that for 6 months of not recycling this stuff?” Spencer asked.

“Whatever we owe them for this being handled incorrectly by this crew, service wasn’t provided and therefore it should not be billed, so yeah, anything we owe them, we will issue a credit for, absolutely,” Atkinson said.

KPRC 2 will continue to follow this case and hold Texas Pride accountable. We will make sure they follow through with the refund promise and let you know if they don’t.

How to get help with trash company problem

If you have a complaint or problem with your trash company and can’t get a response from the company, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. You can also check to see what other people are saying about the company on the BBB’s Scam Tracker.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.