Residential recycling rates have leveled off even though trash generation continues to increase. To keep up with the increase in waste being produced annually, traditional recycling techniques must be augmented by new and innovative approaches to increase the total recovery and reuse of materials. According to several recently issued reports, multifamily recycling provides an opportunity to do this.
The January 2002 State Auditors report entitled “ Recycling and Waste Reduction” states that a key target of opportunity is the commercial/multifamily sector, and calls on the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) (now part of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) to “gather, synthesize, and communicate research results on effective recycling and waste reduction practices.” The OEA awarded Eureka Recycling a grant to begin this work. Eureka Recycling partnered with the City of Fridley and Washington County for part of the research.
Utilizing experience and researching the best multifamily practices in the country, Eureka Recycling created a toolkit of the best practices in multifamily recycling for recycling program coordinators around the state and nation to use.
Multifamily programs should be measured in relation to other multifamily programs. This toolkit provides some information about goals for multifamily recycling tonnage that are not based on curbside programs but on the proven potential of other multifamily programs across the country, as well as other measures that will enable you to assess the potential and limitations of your program.
The toolkit is an assessment tool that looks at challenges of multifamily recycling that must be addressed in order for multifamily programs to be successful. This includes best practices for program design, information systems, recycling set-ups, outreach, and unique problem solving (e.g., translations). The ambition of the toolkit is to provide a map that can point elected officials, recycling coordinators, haulers, landlords, and recycling advocates in the direction where their efforts will have the greatest impact.
Also included are ready-to-use templates and samples of researched and tested "tools," such as contracts, ordinance language, outreach materials, and cart labels, that can be taken and altered by designers or print shops to use in individual programs.
The Toolkit and Tools can help you make improvements to