3 Hacks to Make Multi-family Apartment Waste Easier to Manage

Multi-family apartments have their pros and cons. Apartment living gives families affordable housing in inconvenient locations, a built-in community of neighbors, and, generally, good living conditions. However, from the manager’s perspective, apartment complexes can be like a sticky bog of complex logistics and administration. It’s almost impossible to get through it all without feeling stuck.

Waste disposal is one of those things that tenants expect to run smoothly. However, developing a system for getting rid of trash takes time and planning. Here are some tips to get you out of the administration bog and back in your stride of smooth and clean service.

1. Set Some Ground Rules

Ground rules should be clear and straightforward. Ideally, communicate ground rules to all the residents through more than one medium to get the message and provide reminders. For example, sending out an email and posting signs around the apartments is a sure way to get all the tenants on the same page. So what ground rules might be helpful?

Bags Tied on Top – Although most people do this anyway, making it a rule is a valuable standard to set. Nothing is worse than garbage spread all around the collection area and the grounds simply because someone overfilled their bag and couldn’t tie it off. A reminder to double bag bags that get ripped can also be helpful.

Make a Bag Limit – Bag limits don’t only decrease the amount of garbage you have to deal with but also encourage tenants to pack trash down. This rule helps prevent the system from being overrun by throwing away pizza boxes and milk cartons thoughtlessly. Bag limits can be hard to enforce, but choosing a rather generous limit hopefully means residents will be more responsible with how they pack their trash without feeling constricted by the rules.

Establish a Regular Pick-up Day and Time – Is your apartment one where tenants take their garbage to a communal disposal container, or is it picked up along each floor? Either way, letting tenants know when the weekly pick up is vital to a smooth-flowing waste disposal scheme. During holidays, when people have lots of packages and garbage levels are high, you might consider a biweekly pick-up to ensure they don’t overflow capacity.

Have an Action Plan for Oversized Items – Large pieces of furniture, TVs, or broken toys can overwhelm regular bin collection methods. A clear guide to what tenants should do with big items helps them from blocking the flow of the ordinary garbage system.

2. Recycle

Recycling helps reduce waste flow hiccups in multiple ways. Firstly, it separates garbage into at least two distinct types, which means bins fill up less quickly, and collection doesn’t have to occur as frequently. Secondly, it decreases the volume of waste taken to the landfill, which can be the most expensive waste to dump. Recycling saves residents unnecessary fees.

Even with the benefits of recycling for people and the environment, it can be challenging to set up a system where tenants fully participate in recycling practices. Some tips to help recycling become normalized in your multi-family apartment include:

  • Put general waste, and recycling containers close together
  • Make recycling containers bigger than available waste containers
  • Display images and written text telling residents which items can be recycled

3. Manage the Space

The Bigger, the Better – As a general rule, the more space you can set aside for garbage collection, the more organized you will be able to keep it. Cramped garbage collection spaces end up quickly overflowing, and garbage somehow finds its way everywhere it shouldn’t be. Of course, space is a high-value commodity in apartment blocks, so striking the right balance is vital.

Unauthorized Dumping – Another critical part of managing the space where garbage is stored on site is stopping unauthorized dumping by those who don’t live in the complex. Since disposal companies collect garbage with trucks from the road, having waste management containers right next to the sidewalk can be tempting. However, keeping the collection zone out of sight of pedestrians will help avoid opportunistic dumpers from using your services and overwhelming the system. Security cameras are also a helpful installation.

Clean and Tidy – It can be easy to forget to have custodians clean and tidy the garbage area. Taking the time to make sure it gets looked after regularly will encourage tenants to dispose of their garbage without complaint. Garbage dumpsters and bins can quickly start smelling badly without proper washing.

In the end, if you have set some basic ground rules, implement an accessible recycling scheme, and keep an eye on the space where garbage collects in your complex, waste management should be a seamless process. If you need help with waste management in Salt Lake City or Sacramento, contact the Atlas disposal team for the best solutions in the industry.