How to Start a Recycling Program in Your Apartment Complex

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Starting a recycling program in your apartment complex can allow you to feel you’re living in a more environmentally and socially responsible manner. If your apartment complex doesn’t currently provide recycling, you can try to make one available by taking the following course of action:

Talk to Your Landlord

Your landlord should be able to answer your questions as to why there isn’t already a recycling program available in the complex. There may not be a contractor available in the area to pick up the recycling or the contractor may be too pricey and rent would have to be raised across the board for the complex to be able to afford the program. She may also be able to tell you whether or not previous attempts at starting a program have failed to give you an idea as to whether or not your efforts will prove worthwhile.

Get Support from Neighbors

If you want to pursue the chance of a recycling program in your apartment complex, you’ll have to ask your neighbors for their opinion. Explain why you believe strongly in a recycling service and ask them if they’d be willing to pay a bit more each month in order to have the service provided. Ask them the maximum they’d be willing to pay in order to have the service and let them know you won’t be able to push the service through without their support.

Research Some Contractors

Once you have an estimate on how much, if any, your neighbors would be willing to contribute monthly to offset a recycling program cost, do some research into local recycling contractors that would offer service to your area. Make phone calls and ask for weekly, biweekly or monthly pickup estimates, being sure to tell them approximately how many apartments and residents live in the complex.

Attend a Board Meeting (If Applicable)

If your apartment complex has regular board meetings, this is the place to present your case. Attend the next meeting and show your petition to demonstrate how much support you have for the program. You can then present the quotes you got from contractors for the board members’ consideration. The decision will then rest with the board. Ask any of your neighbors who were especially supportive to show up for the meeting to help encourage the board to decide favorably.

Present Your Case to the Landlord

If your apartment complex doesn’t have a board, you should present the same facts to your landlord, preferably with your supportive neighbors’ help. Your landlord can then discuss the idea with the owner of the complex and see if they can agree on a plan of action. Don’t be disappointed if the motion doesn’t go through; not all of your neighbors may agree that the additional expense is worth the extra rent.

If it doesn’t look like having a recycling program in your apartment complex will be possible, you can still look for ways in which to recycle on your own. Take your recycling to a local recycling center once a week or so, reduce the amount of waste you use and re-use what you can, even if you have to think creatively.

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