General Question

ruby's avatar

What is the best way to get my apartment complex to start recycling?

Asked by ruby (9points) August 15th, 2008

I just moved into a new bulding and was dismayed to find out that they do not currently have recycling pick up in place. I approached the building manager about it and she said that she would be willing to bring it up to the management company but that in the past they have been concerned about:
1) the cost (I actually found out that recycling pick up is cheaper than trash)
2) the mess from people “dumpster diving”
3) they just don’t care

I think i will write a letter to the management company, and I would love some imput on letter content.

Anyone had any experience with this?


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5 Answers

Judi's avatar

I am an apartment owner and we have to pay a premium if we want to recycle. Some of the other reasons we are hesitant:
1.Space- People want to dump their trash in the nearest dumpster. Chances are whoever lives by the recycle dumpster will put their trash in it anyway and cause us hastles with the pick-up people
2. Dumpster diving is a BIG problem. I used to call them “resident recyclers” but with identity theft at an all time high I shoo them away whenever I see them on my properties.
3. No cooperation from the city. Our city actually charges residential homes $85.00 per year if they want to recycle. I haven’t asked yet but I’d bet they would try to charge me $85.00 per unit if I offered it in the apartments. That adds up!
4.Purchasing special trash bins
5. The hastle of going back if it doesn’t work out.
I’m just presenting you with the objections. I know there are a lot of great reasons to recycle. Answer my objections and you will probably answer theirs as well. Do the research and present a compelling argument, but go to your tax rolls and present it to the owner of the building. The management company wants to do what’s easy, the owner wants to know how he can save or make more money.

cak's avatar

We were in an apartment, for a few months, while waiting to be able to move into our house. We came in during a time when a tenant was trying to push for recyling. We were all for it; however, being a month-to-month leasee, we really weren’t invited to sign the petition. What the person did was gathered the information – cost for the owner/management company and showed how the cost could be passed along to the residences. (it came down to a less than $10 per apartment – cost wise) He (the organizer) proposed that he could build the recycle center, making it neat in appearance.

What he was met with was, cost to maintain the service would go up, yearly, it always does. He mess, some people just don’t throw the stuff away in the right places. The monthly fee that this particular county imposes for things being improperly recyled. The county will take everything, but impose a fee for repeat offenders, which a complex was more than likely to be – meaning people just don’t read those symobols on the bottom of the container to see if it is recyclable! The fee, at that time was $15, monthly – it’s now $25, monthly. The owner/building manager also talked about the cost of replacing the containers and the potential for bug problems, because some people don’t rinse the containers.

All-in-all, the owner was receptive to the idea, but was afraid to implement it at that time. Now, more places are wanting to be seen as green or more green than they have been, in the past. It sells. Ads for this apartment complex now offer recycling, at a fee, of course!

If a complex doesn’t start off recycling, it’s a little harder to get them to switch, but a simple letter to start off the process is good, but I’d be willing to bet, you’ll need to do some research and find out how willing your fellow complex residents are willing to pony up a bit more money!

Good luck! Remember, though, you still can recycle. Find your city’s local drop off locations!

cak's avatar

I forgot to add…like Judi, we have property, but we own houses. We are actually required to provide recycling to our tenants! Houses, yes…apartments, no. :(

Hopefully, they will start finding ways to make it less costly to apartments!

cak's avatar

@ Judi…what’s amazing about dumpster diving…we’re starting to see it in neighborhoods, more! My husband was telling me that the recycle bin is now, almost always, picked over by pickup on the day they come around. People are starting to go house-to-house, picking out the aluminum cans.

He could care less if they take the cans, but didn’t appreciate the mess they left behind. grrrr!

emilyrose's avatar

Where do you live? You can often call the local city recycling agency or recycling hauler and they can work with your building manager to set up a program. Send me a message if you live in the Bay Area and I can help.

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