& Free Trip to Margaritaville
Driveway Dumpster Rental
By Linda W. Perkins
Photos by Gina Turner
In with the new, out with the old. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard time and time again. But when it comes to dealing with things around your home and garden, it’s not always that easy to implement. Remodeling? Before you can install those new kitchen cabinets, you have to tear out the old ones first. But where do you put them, and then how can you get them hauled away?
Here’s a thought: How about getting your neighbors to help?
While it may seem strange to call a dumpster company “your neighbors,” that is exactly how Driveway Dumpster Rental, LLC owners Blake and Donna Cox see the relationship between them and their clients. It drives everything they do, from the personal level of customer service they provide to the care with which they keep their dumpsters.
“We realize we are renting these dumpsters to our neighbors, and we really care about them. We treat them the way we wish we would be treated when we hire someone,” Donna explained, adding that because they are a small family-owned company, the couple is able to be flexible on the way they work with customers to ensure their needs are met.
Driveway Dumpster Rental has been serving communities north of Houston since March of last year, but the company was purchased by the Coxes in November 2020. Their 15-yard dumpsters, which are easily identifiable by their bright red and black paint, are used by people who are cleaning out their houses and garages, as well as by remodeling contractors needing a dumpster on a short-term basis.
A standard rental is for one to seven days and includes delivery and pickup. Other than a short list of items that includes refrigerators, motor oil, and other hazardous materials, they can pick up just about anything and deliver it to a local trash collection and recycling center.
“We are all about making sure the trash gets to the right place,” Blake reiterated. Getting it right is one of the reasons Driveway Dumpster Rental is so successful. “We have integrity. We do what we say we are going to do. And if we make a mistake – Blake doesn’t make mistakes, but I have occasionally – I’ll be the first one to call the customer and say, ‘I’m sorry, I goofed.’” Donna explained. “So far, we have nothing but five-star ratings and lovely comments.”
The couple emphasizes their promptness as a reason people like to do business with them. “We answer the phone and call people back. If you have to leave a message, we will call you back within two hours, if at all possible. And if we say we will be there at a given time, we will be there!”
Another reason for the five-start reviews may be because of the way the couple takes the time to understand the customer’s needs, beyond just delivering a dumpster. Donna tells the story of one customer who had rented a dumpster for a week after the recent freeze, but when Blake went to pick it up, it was still empty.
The client explained that she couldn’t take the damaged items out of her house because the insurance adjuster still had not come out. Blake and Donna needed the dumpster for another customer, so they still picked it up. However, rather than charge the customer for the week she was unable to use, they just held the customer’s deposit for another rental time after the insurance issue was resolved.
In another story, Blake described how he noticed how somber some customers seemed when he went to deliver the dumpster to them. He asked them about their situation, and discovered they were cleaning out a family member’s trailer because he had passed away. Moved by the grief-stricken family’s loss, Blake helped them load some of the belongings into the dumpster so the family didn’t have to extend their rental beyond the initial period and could make their deadline for clearing things out of the trailer.
On a lighter note, Donna says some people use their company because Blake’s many years of experience in the oil field means he is an expert driver and can back in anywhere with their dumpsters. “I have seen him put them in some really precarious places,” she exclaimed. For others, Donna says, aesthetics matter. “Our dumpsters are pretty. You’re not ashamed to have them in your driveway.”
“We live in a gated subdivision, and once you start doing business in gated communities, you find the neighbors can be pretty picky. We find people would rather have a nice-looking dumpster in their front yard than something that is rusty or smelly.”
Even though the company is relatively new, Donna and Blake already have a plan for growth. “We would like to acquire some more dumpsters, including perhaps some that can be used for construction sites,” said Donna. “Right now, everything we have is for residential.”
“Another possibility in our future plans is junk removal where we have crews come in,” Donna continued. “That is part of our long-term plan.”
A lifetime ago, back when Donna and Blake were high school sweethearts in west Texas, they probably couldn’t have imagined their life beyond his oil field service businesses and her teaching career would involve taking out other people’s trash. They certainly didn’t know they would be teased about their business “being rubbish” or that they would jokingly be called “trashy people.” Yet here they are, the proud owners of Driveway Dumpster Rental, and they couldn’t be happier.
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