A recycling program is a great way to help sustain the earth, but sometimes the hardest part is deciding where to begin. By creating a program for your residents, it can not only help the environment, but also build a sense of community and remove barriers that may prevent residents from recycling on their own.
If you’re thinking about starting a resident recycling program at your apartment community, here are some helpful tips to get you on the right track:
- Research recycling programs. Check out the recycling programs in your city. Most cities offer resources that can help you start up the program at your property.
- Pick a point person. Select an employee to be responsible for the recycling program. That employee will be in charge of designing the program, arranging for the pick-up of materials and answering questions from residents.
- Decide what to recycle.Sometimes deciding what should actually be recycled is a challenge. There are helpful resources online you can reference to remind you what can be recycled. Some of the materials you should consider including in your recycling program are:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Old newspaper
- Select a supplier. Evaluate options and select a supplier that will collect the recyclables from your property. Your city’s recycling resources will often have information on recycling pick-up, or you can look into major suppliers like Waste Management who have programs specifically designed for businesses.
- Facilitate outreach. Education is the best way to encourage your residents to recycle. Include signage and/or literature in the leasing office with information on the recycling program or goals that you are trying to reach to generate more participation. Make sure you are setting a good example by recycling in the leasing office as well. Use signage and displays around the property to inform residents:
- Why they should recycle
- What they should recycle
- Where they can recycle
- How they can recycle
- Create space for your recycling bins. Find a convenient place for recycling bins that are easily accessible for residents. Ideally, having the bins located next to trash bins or dumpsters will help encourage participation by making it easy for residents to take care of both in one trip.
Do you have a recycling program in your community? Leave your tips and advice in the comments below!