Apartment Complex Recycling: 3 Problems and Their Solutions

Apartment Complex Recycling: 3 Problems and Their Solutions

Many apartment owners find that starting a recycling program within their complex can be challenging. Whether it’s the lack of space or a rotation of new tenant faces, there are many hurdles that often lead to recyclable materials ending up in landfills.

If your apartment complex generates large amounts of trash, you can significantly help the environment by implementing a recycling program in your complex.


Here are some problems and solutions that you may encounter as you launch your recycling program.

Problem: Limited Space

Most families who own homes have the option to store the recycling bin in a garage or by the side of the house. Tenants at apartment complexes don’t have these storage options. Unless there is provided storage, tenants may only have room for their household belongings. Even a small recycling container may take up too much room for many tenants.

Solution: Make Recycling Accessible

To solve this problem, provide recycling containers in easily accessible places where tenants go regularly. People are more likely to recycle if the recycling containers are nearby.

Fortunately, there are places that all tenants go nearly every day. For instance, have you ever noticed the trash nearest to the mailbox is full of junk mail? Keep recycling containers near the mailbox, so tenants can easily throw unwanted mail into the recycling bin.

Other areas you may want to place recycling containers are near garbage dumpsters or in laundry rooms. Wherever you choose to place the recycling containers in your apartment complex, make sure the bins are clearly marked. Indicate on the bins what materials are allowed to reduce confusion among tenants and their guests.

When you place recycling containers in high-traffic areas, you make it easier for tenants to recycle and for you to collect recycling containers. Save your staff time and money by doing all you can to simplify the recycling process.

Provide the option for tenants to have small recycling bins in their apartments if they feel they have the space to do so. Some recycling centers also provide bags that tenants can use if they are limited on space. These recycling bags are usually collapsible and easy to store.

Problem: Constant Overturn

You may feel that starting a recycling program is a lost cause because of how frequently tenants move in and out of apartments. You can solve this problem by providing every new tenant with a recycling program information sheet. Keep new and current tenants motivated to recycle by sending regular updates on company social media accounts, emails or newsletters.

 Solution: Share a Recycling Guide

In addition, hang instructional posters, such as our LRS recycling guide, around the complex and near recycling bins. These posters should instruct new tenants what items can and cannot be recycled. For instance, most recycling centers, including LRS, allow metal, wood, paper, plastic and cardboard to be recycled—and not only that, but put in the same container!

These posters should also contain information regarding which materials belong in which containers if you have more than one recycling bin available. You can distribute this flyer to any new tenants in order to better educate them upon arrival.

Problem: Disinterest

Your recycling efforts may be ineffective if tenants are disinterested in your recycling programs. Recycling is a trend that continues to grow, and while we are already seeing lasting impact based on new recycling practices, we still need to work to generate common interest. And the perfect place to start is at the comfort of your apartment complex.

Solution: Spread Awareness

To solve this problem, consider hosting special recycling events every few months to keep tenants interested. At the event, remind tenants what items to recycle, where recycling bins are located, and how beneficial recycling is for the environment.

You may want to use these events to collect recyclable materials that are collected less often as well, such as hazardous materials or batteries. After you have collected these items, take them to your recycling center or local hazardous waste facility.

Through your recycling program, you and your tenants can reduce waste and positively impact the environment. If you need assistance starting a recycling program in your apartment complex, contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems for help.

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