apartment recycling
Apartment Recycling – Image Credits

Apartment life certainly has its advantages, but sometimes being “green” is more difficult. There isn’t usually room for a garden, compost pile, or backyard chickens. On the other hand, apartments are smaller and require less power to heat and cool. Recycling is one way that apartment residents can work together to help the environment.

Recycling committee?

Get to know your neighbors in the apartment complex and find some that are interested in apartment recycling. Brainstorm ideas on where to collect, when to collect, etc. Unless your city has a flawless recycling collection, there will probably be some duties to address. It’s important to have a pool of interested people that can help.

These people will play a big role in encouraging other neighbors to recycle. Try informative flyers in community areas, or bring in a guest speaker to talk about environmental issues. These days, most people have a concern for the environment and will gladly recycle if given the opportunity.

Recycling resources

The next step is decided what will be recycled and where it will go after collection. (We’ll get to collection points next.) Many cities have very developed recycling programs, but some do not, especially smaller cities. If your city has a good apartment recycling program, find out if pickup is an option. If it is, making use of that service will make your recycling program run much easier. The city may charge a fee per month, so be prepared for either fundraising or donation solicitation.

If the city does not pick up recycling, as is often the case at apartment complexes, you will need to rely on your recycling committee to delegate recycling runs every few weeks. If your city does not even have a recycling facility, you can still recycle. Read more below.

Collection points

In most apartment complexes, multiple collection points will be best. Depending on the size of your apartment complex and the pickup method, recycling can be collected in anything from a large trash can to a dumpster. The best option for most places is three to five trash cans labeled for different kinds of recycling.

Make sure that you follow any regulations about what can be recycled and what can be mixed. Often, different types of plastics, glass, and paper must be separated before going into the recycling bin.

No Organized Recycling?

Maybe your community does not have an organized recycling facility. Unfortunately, this is still true, especially in many small towns and rural areas. Don’t worry—recycling is still possible! In fact, recycling goods yourself can be even more fulfilling than sending it off to a municipal facility, albeit definitely more work.

If you’re doing the recycling yourself, you will be limited on the items you can recycle. It is difficult to recycle or repurpose a wide variety of plastics at home, so consider toting this to a nearby recycling facility once every month or two.

Paper is easy to repurpose. You can use it for various projects, but my favorite is paper brick making. Collect paper, soak it in water, then press the pulp into dense bricks. Once dry, these paper “logs” burn hot for hours, heating your home with no electricity.

Aluminum cans can be profitable to recycle. Most areas have a metal recycling business nearby that will pay for used aluminum cans. Collect them then take several trash cans full at once. The money from the cans can help pay for signs or new trash cans.

Whether it’s as simple as putting out city-issued recycling bins, or as complex as re-purposing household trash, recycling is a project that is worthwhile and meaningful. Apartment complexes offer a great opportunity to promote recycling because of the large pool of people in one space.

My name is Adam Hall. I love writing about camping and outdoor activities. I write for sundancervactivities.com.