There are many multi-housing complexes, such as apartments, condominiums and dormitories, that have a recycling program in place. If your complex is not one of those, please consider starting a campaign to bring convenient recycling to you and your neighbors or tenants.
Under the Johnson County Solid Waste Code recycling is a required service for single family homes. The same is not true for apartments and other multi-family housing.
Johnson County Can Help
Environmental Division staff are available to help assist apartment complexes in setting up recycling, waste diversion and sustainability programs. Both the Green Business Program and Sustainability Consulting exist to help businesses, as well as apartment complexes, start these programs.
Staff are available to help walk you through this process and work with you to start or improve recycling and sustainability programs at your apartment complex.
Tips for Starting a Recycling Program
Ask your neighbors or tenants if recycling is important to them. Enlist everyone that responds positively into your campaign for help. While it is true that one person can make a difference, numbers can make the job easier.
Explain the Benefits
Money is always a huge motivator. You can use that to your advantage. Removing recyclable items from the trash means less trash and fewer pickups. Look up your garbage and recycling rates and talk to your waste management or recycling company about how much money a recycling program could save your complex. Management will be more likely to invest in the upfront costs, such as enlarging trash enclosures, posting additional signage, and dedicating staff time for tenant education, if they can see the savings in the long run.
Audit Your Waste
Coming up with the cost savings is more precise if you can do an assessment of your complex's waste stream, which is the total amount of trash being thrown away and how much of it can be recycled. Many recycling partners can aid customers in finding the maximum value from their recycling streams.
Spread the Word
Once the recycling program is in place, help educate other residents. Use colorful posters to announce the new program. Distribute brochures describing how to separate recyclables from real trash and make sure everyone receives one. Post signs that remind residents to recycle. Place labeled bins in convenient areas, such as the mail area and the laundry room. Make sure the trash bins and the recycle bins are two different colors so that their purpose is clear.