Why Aren’t Apartment Complexes Recycling?

Recycling is becoming essential in the United States, and all around the world.  Several places, including Boston and the UK, are beginning a Zero Waste Initiative.  New, and easier methods of recycling are being implemented to begin the initiative.  Currently, Boston and other U.S. cities are moving toward a form of recycling called single-stream recycling, a recyclingmethod that eliminates sorting and allows all recyclable material to be disposed of in the same bin.  This method will cut time spent sorting, and the amount of bins needed, hopefully influencing more communities to participate because of the newly added convenience.

According to the National Multi Housing Council, approximately 64% of renters in the United States live in apartment complexes. That is nearly 25 million people and a substantial portion of the U.S.’s waste.

So why aren’t apartment complexes recycling?  With this new single-stream method, recycling should be a no-brainer and ideally recycling bins should start appearing in apartment complexes everywhere.

Boston has already adopted this single-stream recycling method and has seen a dramatic increase in recycling, not to mention a steady decline in waste in only 3 years.   “Boston spent about $3 million to implement single-stream citywide in 2009, mostly on the cost of the rolling toters. Since then, the amount of recycling collected has shot up from 19,000 tons in fiscal 2008 to 32,000 tons in 2012. Over the same period, garbage collection dropped 11 percent, from 221,215 tons to 196,205.”- “Are big blue bins bad for recycling?” By Barbara Moran.

Can you imagine the decrease in waste if every apartment complex added a recycling bin?

If apartment complexes were to make this change they wouldn’t need toters, they would need a recycling bin. Most apartment complexes’ trash is picked up 2 to 3 times per week. This schedule should allow most to simply replace a waste bin with a recycling bin.  If that isn’t viable, they can order a recycling bin from their hauler.  There is a strong possibility they won’t be losing too much money from a recycling bin.  The green movement is still growing, and being an apartment complex that recycles would be a huge plus for the younger generation.  Capitalize on this initiative, market being one of the first green apartment complexes, and your costs are covered.

Recycling is becoming more imminent and with today’s technologies it is becoming a much simpler process.  When single-stream recycling reaches the rest of the U.S., we will no longer have an excuse not to recycle.  So, let’s all get on board, especially apartment complexes, and let’s start towards a zero waste country.





4 thoughts on “Why Aren’t Apartment Complexes Recycling?

  1. Pingback: Apartment dwellers are a huge part of the North American population and we need to make recycling simpler for this situation. | envirofrogblog

  2. I am an apartment owner and manager in Los Angeles. I had thought about recycling but it has never been mentioned by my trash haulers. I will ask abut it now! I agree it would be a great thing to do. I am also hoping solar can be applied to apartment buildings. Thank you for doing the RIGHT thing! Steve

  3. Pingback: Recycling at Home | Green With Me

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