Increasing Apartment Building Recycling

Cities wanting to develop effective waste recycling practices for large apartment buildings face a set of challenges different from regular residential or commercial waste management.

Multi-family dwellings are typically defined as a residential building with four or more units. Often, these buildings have limited space to store recyclables making it difficult for those who live there to participate. Some large, older buildings may have hallway chutes for trash disposal, but not recycling – leaving residents to move bins on their own.

In Culver City, California the city received a special grant from¬†CalRecycle, the state’s recycling department, to start a recycling program for apartment buildings in 2011. Residents were encouraged to speak with their property managers to offer recycling services which proved to be the most effective way to get building owners to participate.

To deal with space issues, the city utilized a “scooter” truck to accompany the larger collection truck for those apartment parking garages that were underground and low-ceilinged. The scooter truck, which is frequently used for commercial and industrial trash collection was able to successfully reach recycling areas that a large truck would not.

In the first year the city had participation from twenty eight multi-family buildings and as a result, waste disposal decreased significantly from each participating building and very close to the average rates seen in single family neighborhoods throughout the city.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re a building owner or property manager, what kind of recycling services do you offer your tenants? You might find that you’ll be able to save money on your garbage disposal fees by recycling more!