Every human strongly identifies with the concept of home. Your work as a housing owner or manager is important to our community. You provide the walls and living environment that create the homes for many people in Lincoln. You have a big influence on your tenants' sense of "home sweet home." Your job is to manage the many tasks that need to be done to ensure the comfort, safety and overall well-being of your tenants. You are in charge of maintaining grounds, updating facilities, making repairs, ensuring sufficient heating and cooling and providing water service.
Waste disposal is also a big item on that list. Trash collection is extremely important for the safety, health and beauty of our community. The goal of this toolkit is to help you make recycling part of your waste management system. You'll learn how recycling can benefit your bottom line, provide a valuable service to your tenants, improve the marketability of your units and benefit the community.
The toolkit will show you how to accomplish the following:
- Evaluate the current waste stream at your apartment complex.
- Identify the necessary steps to initiate a recycling program.
- Establish a system of recycling to ensure long-term participation and success.
Recycling at your apartment complex will set you apart from others in Lincoln. It will demonstrate that you have a focus on sustainability and the future. Your residents will value the ability to conveniently recycle, and you can add it to the list of selling points at your property.
Multifamily Recycling Background
Of all the ways we can reduce our impact on the environment, recycling is the easiest. Yet, residents of multifamily dwellings are far less likely to recycle than those who live in single-family homes. The reason is convenience. While curbside collection works well for single-family and duplex homes, it is difficult to standardize any type of collection procedure for multifamily apartment buildings. Because they vary greatly in size and layout, it's necessary for each apartment complex to have its own system.
The recycling drop-off sites managed by the City are available for use by all residents, but are underused by apartment dwellers. A key reason for this is that apartments have limited space to store recyclables and tenants must make more frequent trips to the drop-off sites.
Apartment owners and managers can increase recycling by their tenants by making it more convenient. One option is to offer onsite recycling, with containers for recyclables next to the waste containers. This guide will help you set up a recycling system for your apartment complex.
The City of Lincoln Recycling Office is part of the Solid Waste Operations Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department. Our mission is to promote the diversion of waste from the sanitary landfill in an economically and environmentally sound manner in full partnership with the private sector.
Our goals are to:
- Maintain effective residential recycling, composting, and waste reduction programs.
- Promote commercial waste reduction and recycling.
- Maintain an effective public outreach program which promotes waste reduction, recycling, and backyard composting.
This toolkit was developed to assist us in executing our mission and goals and was made possible through grant funds provided by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. If you have any questions about this document or the City's recycling program, please call 402-441-8215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products."Source: EPA.gov
After being collected, recyclables are transported to a material recovery facility where they are sorted, baled and shipped to manufacturers for manufacturing new products. Some examples include shredded paper, chipped plastic, and glass granules which are bought and sold in regional, national and international markets. Purchasing goods made from recycled materials is the final stage of recycling.
Consider these two scenarios:
A waste hauler collects the garbage from the containers at your property and drives it to the landfill, where it is weighed and buried in the ground, where it will remain for many years. The hauler pays a fee based on the weight of the material and then charges you based on the number of containers they emptied, the amount of material collected, and the number of services trips they made.
A waste hauler collects your recyclables and your garbage. The garbage goes to the landfill, but it's a smaller amount, reducing disposal costs. The recyclables go to a material recovery facility, where they become a resource with monetary value. The recyclables are cleaned, processed and made into new products. New jobs are created to collect, process and transform the material into new products, which are sold in the market place, creating additional revenue. The energy required to make a product from recycled materials is less than the energy required to create the same product from raw materials. Fewer pollutants are emitted into the air and water, and less energy is consumed.
The space saved in the landfill saves taxpayer dollars by delaying the development of a new landfill. The waste hauler will charge you for the number of garbage containers they emptied, but you will use fewer or smaller containers. These savings help offset a portion of the cost to provide and service additional recycling containers.
Under both scenarios, residents have disposed the same amounts and types of material. But under the second scenario, you have saved taxpayer dollars, helped to create jobs and demonstrated your environmental stewardship.
How is the cost of waste services determined?
The cost to collect solid waste is typically determined by the amount of waste, the number of containers and the frequency of service. Also included in the price is the cost haulers pay to dispose of the material, including a landfill tipping fee ($16 per ton) and occupation tax ($9 per ton). Collectively, these fees — called a system rate — are $25 per ton for the Bluff Road Landfill. The money saved by reducing the number or size of containers, the frequency of collection and the disposal costs can help offset the cost of providing and servicing recycling containers.