PRC Increases Apartment Recycling

Posted by: Mary Kate Ranii on January 11, 2017

Since 2014, PRC has partnered with Alcoa Foundation to work with multi-family properties around the Greater Pittsburgh Area to find best management recycling practices as well as increase recycling rates. These properties ranged in size, location, and socioeconomic makeup.

Multi-family residences are buildings that house multiple family units and can range from houses retrofitted into multiple separate living units to large condominium complexes. (In Pittsburgh alone, multi-family residences represent 23.3 percent of all housing units!) According to Pennsylvania Act 101, the majority of Pennsylvanians, including multi-family residents are required to recycle.

Multi-family residential units provide a key area for growth in material diversion across the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, multi-family residences are often under served in terms of recycling as Act 101 requirements are not enforced and these units are typically excluded from common curbside collection services as they are considered commercial properties.

PRC began to work with a number of multi-family properties in southwestern PA to find best management practices to boost recycling rates! These practices included streamlined educational signage and brochures, public space and unit recycling containers, and informational presentations.

PRC found that these changes increased property recycling output as well as decreased contamination rates! (Several properties increased their recycling outputs by between ten and fifty percent!)

Through this grant PRC was able to document the impacts of these best management practices as well as creating template materials for use by property owners and a guide for residents and landlords to create and/or improve a recycling program. Find these template educational signs and brochures, as well as this guide here.

Click here to read PRC’s full Multi Family Recycling Report.

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