Property owners, managers and associations are required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. These tips can help you set up and maintain a successful recycling program at your building.
Need help? It's free!
Residents in apartment and condo buildings want to recycle, but they don't always do it right. Hennepin County can help you set up a recycling system and provide educational materials for your residents. Free assistance from Hennepin County can greatly improve recycling at your building(s) making it easier for both managers and residents.
Contact the apartment recycling program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance.
Share this educational video about recycling with your residents
Tips to help residents recycle more
These tips can help you set up and maintain a successful recycling program at your building. The most important tool is clear communication. Studies show that posting two or three recycling reminders throughout the year can increase participation by as much as 20 percent.
Set up collection best practices
Clearly label all recycling and trash containers. Use labels that include pictures of the materials that your residents can recycle. Use signs to direct residents to the correct containers.
Provide enough recycling service to accommodate all recyclables generated by residents. Recycling service should be at least equal to trash service; if your trash dumpster is 4 yards and serviced twice a week, your recycling dumpster should be as well.
If your building has trash chutes, add recycling bins next to the trash chutes to make recycling just as convenient as taking out the trash.
Provide educational materials
Give residents a recycling guide that includes a list of what can and can't be recycled when they move in.
Post instructions in the recycling and common areas of your building (laundry room, community room, mailroom, bulletin board, etc.) showing residents how to recycle.
Provide educational materials in multiple languages if some residents do not speak English.
Remind residents to recycle by giving information to new residents at move-in and by providing periodic recycling updates. At a minimum, recycling updates should be provided annually.
Inform your residents of the benefits of recycling and assure them that materials collected for recycling do get recycled.
Provide positive feedback to your residents who are recycling. Consider setting a goal for your building and tracking progress regularly. If you produce a building newsletter, consider adding a recycling section for regular updates and reminders.
Prevent wasted food
As much as 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. for human consumption goes uneaten. Food is wasted for a lot of different reasons. Whether it’s produce that goes bad before we prepare it, crackers that get lost in the back of the cupboard, or leftovers we just don’t eat up, that wasted food has a big impact. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do about it!
Let your residents know how they can save money and waste less food. Share the Save the Food flyer (PDF) or share these tips with residents in your next update.
Hennepin County recycling study reveals improvements needed at apartment and condo buildings
Hennepin County conducted a waste study (PDF) in 2017 to assess how well apartment and condo buildings were recycling. The study looks at the recycling diversion rate, contamination levels in the recycling, and the composition of what is being discarded as trash. The results highlight conclusions and next steps.