The mindset of a multi-residential unit dweller when it comes to recycling, compared to a single family home owner is significantly different.  This is mainly because home owners are accountable for the garbage they place at the curb.  For apartment and condominium renters, very little is offered to help motivate or enforce them to recycle.

This doesn’t have to be.  There are a few obstacles tenants residing in condos and apartments face when it comes to recycling.  Let’s examine how you the landlord or property manager impact the recycling efforts of your tenants.

–        Do you have a recycling program established already in your building?

–        Do you provide your tenants with the correct containers and bins to support the program?

–        Do you regularly advertise, educate and encourage the participation of your tenants?

If you have answered “no” to any one of these questions, please read on for some helpful tips and pointers to help you get your apartment recycling program up and running smoothly.

Planning and Implementing your Apartment Recycling Program

It is one thing to want to initiate a recycling program for your apartment or condominium complex, it is another to follow through with the proper steps to make it happen.

One of the first steps you should take is by calling your municipality to find out if they have a recycling pick up schedule in place already in your area.  If they do, what days is this being offered?  What recyclables do they accept?  How will they be accepted (eg. Plastic bags, blue boxes?)

If you find that they do not collect recyclables, call around to Recycling Centers in your area and set up a weekly pick up schedule.

Tip:  Some Recycling Centers will pay for your collectibles.  There are many products on the market today that are made from recyclable material making your discarded items a precious commodity.  One that carries a value that goes back into your pocket.

Providing your Tenants with the Proper Containers

There are many options when it comes to purchasing recycling containers for your tenants.  You can provide your tenants with the standard blue and grey bins but more often than not, they will end up tucked away in a closet or barely used at all.  No one wants a big blue box in the middle of their kitchen or hallway.

 Stackable recycling bins are a better option.  They are easy to clean and maintain, stackable so they can fit easily underneath your kitchen sink or conveniently into a corner.  By having a recycling container that is small, colourful and appealing your tenants will be reminded and encouraged to “do their part”.  Chances of contamination of the recyclables will be minimal due to the clear sorting system in place.

Tip:  The Multi-Recycler from Busch Systems is a great choice for multi-residential recycling programs.  These handy recycling containers can be used as a recycling station with multiple color options so you can decide which colors would appeal the most to your tenants.  These recycling bins can be stamped as well to prevent theft and misplacement.

 Creating Awareness

This step is just as significant as any of the others.  It is extremely important that you, the landlord or property manager establish awareness amongst your tenants to recycle.  Announcing your recycling program to your tenants is necessary when trying to encourage participation.  Try sending out letters, putting up posters and providing them with a list of what to recycle and what not to recycle.

Tip:  Create a hand-out to complement your tenancy agreement that explains your recycling program initiatives, offers instruction on how to set up a recycling program, where your tenants need to bring their recycling containers once filled and on what days collection takes place.

Hopefully, this article has been of use and you are now well on your way to establishing a cost effective apartment recycling program that will not only help make a positive impact on the environment but save you money in the long run.

For your options on recycling containers, please visit