Multi-residential residences are those with 6 or more units, such as apartments, condominiums, and townhouses. If you live in or manage a multi-residential unit that uses 95-gallon carts (large carts on wheels) for recycling, this will help you learn all about proper recycling.
If the building you live in or manage puts blue boxes to the curb, please refer to the curbside collection guidelines here.
In multi-residential units, such as apartment buildings, condominiums, and townhouses, only 16% of waste is recycled.
Save the planet. Reduce the amount of material that goes to the landfill.
Save money. By increasing the amount you recycle you can reduce the amount of garbage you create, saving you money on garbage tipping fees.
Roles and Responsibilities
As a property owner or manager, you play an important role in your building’s recycling program. You should:
- Understand your responsibilities as outlined in Ontario Regulation 103/94.
- Advise tenants on how to properly sort and dispose of waste products.
- Maintain the interior and exterior of the garbage and recycling area(s) and replace bins or carts, if necessary.
Multi-Residential Recycling Challenges
Compared to single-family homes, there are unique challenges when it comes to depot recycling.
Improper sorting – One of the biggest challenges faced by multi-residential units is the improper sorting of recyclable materials. This can be the result of confusion about what goes where, the lack of information and signage for tenants, or the convenience of dumping all materials into one recycling bin.
Contamination – Contamination happens when non-recyclable materials end up in the recycling bin. This can ruin an entire load of recycling and result in your recycling being left uncollected.
Location – Some buildings have a small or inconvenient space to store their waste bins. If the complex has several buildings, the recycling area may be far away from some buildings. If the building’s recycling area is located outdoors, recycling can become even more of a challenge during extreme heat or cold/snowy months.
Differences between buildings and municipalities – Some apartments, condominiums, and townhouses have high turnover rates. Properties can differ in terms of the operation and location of their waste management systems, meaning tenants are unfamiliar with the recycling program requirements. Tenants may also be new to the area and unsure of how to recycle right in the Quinte region.
What You Can Do
There are steps you can take to minimize barriers and improve your building’s recycling program:
- Organize carts so that all fibre carts are together and all container carts are together.
- If there is adequate space, align the carts in a straight row to make them easier to use.
- Ensure nothing is blocking the carts to allow residents and our recycling drivers to access the area.
- Make sure labels are readable and attached to the appropriate bins. Each bin should have a label.
- Only standard size blue boxes or old corrugated cardboard (OCC) bin should be used for glass.
- Cardboard should be flattened so it fits in the cardboard slot on the recycling truck.
- Never use cardboard boxes, totes, laundry baskets or garbage bins to put recycling in. These are not proper blue boxes and the drivers won’t pick these up.
- Inform and educate your tenants. Signage should be visible so that residents know where the recycling and garbage should go. Promoting recycling in your building can lead to increased participation.
- If more carts, blue boxes, labels or sorting guides are required, please contact us.
- Consider assembling and distributing a package for new tenants. This package could include materials such as a letter for new tenants, a sorting guide, and a hazardous and electronic waste schedule. For these resources and more, click here.
- Please ensure your recycling is ready for 7 a.m. on your collection day. If your carts are collected curbside please have them to the curb by 7 a.m., and if your carts are collected from your recycling depot please ensure the area is accessible to the drivers.
- New tenant letter – A printable and editable letter you can distribute to new residents to inform them of the recycling program in your building
- Hazardous and electronic waste schedule – Locations, dates and times to properly dispose of hazardous and electronic waste. Hand these out to residents and/or hang one up in common areas.
- Cart sorting guide – Information on proper sorting of recyclables for depot recycling
- Recycling Cart Labels – Containers – Printable label for containers bin
- Recycling Cart Labels – Papers – Printable label for papers bin
- Multi-Residential Recycling Guide for Superintendents, Property Managers and Building Owners – A handbook detailing how to set up and run a depot, overcome common challenges, educate and engage with tenants, and more
Recycling helps protect the planet. Through proper recycling, you reduce the amount of material going to the landfill.
Recycling right saves money. Recycling is partially funded through tax dollars. Proper sorting and recycling makes the process more efficient and cost-effective. Recycling more can also reduce your building’s garbage tipping fees.
As a resident of an apartment, condominium or townhouse, you are responsible for making an effort to recycle.
It can be tricky to know which materials are recyclable and non-recyclable and how to dispose of them properly. Luckily, we have several resources on our website to assist you.
Plastic and Metal
- Plastic water, juice and pop bottles
- Tin and aluminum food and beverage cans
- Clean aluminum foil
- Plastic tubs and lids
- Clamshell trays
- Plastic jugs
- Empty aerosol and paint cans
- White packing styrofoam
These items go in your Containers Cart:
Papers and Fibres
- Mixed paper, like office paper, flyers and envelopes
- Tetra Pak cartons
- Boxboard (e.g. cereal, cracker boxes)
- Magazines and phone books
- Hardcover and paperback books
- Film plastic (like grocery bags and snack bags, together in one tied bag)
These items go in your Fibres Cart:
- Corrugated cardboard (like moving boxes and Amazon boxes)
- Corrugated cardboard goes in the old corrugated cardboard (OCC) bin if your building has one, or should be flattened, bundled and placed between or beside carts or bins.
- Glass food and beverage bottles and jars
- Glass bottles and jars should be put in the OCC bin, or placed in a standard size blue box.
If you’re not sure whether an item is recyclable or how to dispose of it properly, look it up using the Rethink Waste Tool.
There are many simple steps you can take to make recycling easy and convenient.
- Return empty bottles and cans to the Beer Store for a deposit refund. For more information, visit http://www.thebeerstore.ca/about-us/environmental-leadership/better-returns.
- Always ask your superintendent or property manager if you’re unsure about the recycling program in your building.
- Set up recycling boxes or bags in a convenient location inside your unit.
- Sort as you go. Keeping your plastics and papers separate when you dispose of them will allow you to easily empty your boxes or bags into the correct bins in your building’s recycling depot.
- Keep a list handy of recyclable and non-recyclable items, as well as which bins they belong in.
- Think twice before throwing items in the garbage. Consider donating some items you no longer use to keep them out of the landfill.
- Keep a recycling bin in your bathroom. Toothpaste and tissue boxes, empty toilet paper rolls and empty, rinsed shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles are all recyclable.
Hazardous and Electronic Waste
HAZARDOUS AND ELECTRONIC WASTE ARE NOT ACCEPTED IN THE BLUE BOX.
Hazardous waste includes items such as cleaning products, cooking oil, windshield washer fluid, paint, pesticides, and batteries. These can be taken to the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Depot in Belleville at 75 Wallbridge Crescent and to mobile events.
Electronic waste includes items such as computers, printers, phones, speakers, and TVs. E-waste can be taken to the Belleville depot or our facility in Trenton at 270 West Street.
For a full list of items considered hazardous and electronic waste, for depot hours of operation, or to find a mobile event near you, check out the Hazardous and Electronic Waste page of our website.
Apartment and Depot Recycling Guide – This guide tells you which items are recyclable and where to put them
Hazardous and Electronic Waste Schedule – Locations, dates and times for the disposal of hazardous and electronic waste
Rethink Waste Tool – A searchable list that tells you where to donate, recycle or dispose of common items
List of Items that Can’t be Recycled – A list of non-recyclable materials that often end up in the recycling