Marco Island couple say workers don’t get their trash because of pride flag

Reporter: Claire Galt, Asha Patel Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Claims of discrimination are being aimed at Waste Management on Marco Island after a gay couple recorded a video of workers refusing to take their yard waste and even taking it out of the truck and throwing it on someone else’s yard instead.

A pride flag waves high above Tom Schultz and Eric Baumbach’s front yard. According to Schultz and Baumbach, the flag represents their love for each other and their community.

“I am very proud of my gay family,” Schultz said.

But the couple told WINK News the flag is why they think they experienced hate at the hands of a Waste Management truck driver last week.

“I had yard waste that was bundled up and the correct size,” Schultz said.

Schultz and Baumbach said they put their waste in the yard for pickup, precisely the instructions Waste Management tells people to follow.

Pride flag. CREDIT: WINK News

Schultz and Baumbach posted a video on TikTok about what happened. The couple said they posted the video on TikTok for their own protection.

“If discrimination is happening somewhere, it’s happening more places,” the couple said.

“It makes me feel unsafe in my home. It makes me feel unsafe in my community. I wouldn’t be in this situation if they just took the fronds away. If they were providing me the service that I pay for, that all of my other neighbors are getting, then I wouldn’t be put in this situation,” the couple said.

Waste Management sent a statement late Monday afternoon saying in part that it “does not tolerate discrimination… we are reviewing with our team members how to improve these types of situations going forward. “

But Collier County Commissioner Rick Locastro says the company told him the worker will undergo sensitivity training.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.