Implementing a Building Wide Organics and Recycling Collection System

January 2014

Many condos have effectively implemented waste management systems for organic, recycling and landfill which result in savings of tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Such savings do not require significant investment in equipment or infrastructure. The approach presented here recognizes that cleanliness is paramount. This means that trash is not visible within the building except for designated areas.

Each floor typically has a Refuse Room with a chute to be used only for small bagged items. Unbagged trash and overly large items deposited in a chute result in costly cleaning or unblocking of the chute. Items inappropriate for the Refuse Room or chute are deposited in a central Trash/Recycling Room containing deposit bins.

The goal of waste management is to minimize the amount of trash deposited in the chute by redirecting items to organics and recycling.

A centralized Trash/Recycling Room will have deposit bins for landfill along with separate bins for organics (green) and recycling (blue). The landfill bin will be smallest since most items are deposited in organics or recycling bins.

Small trash bins can be situated in strategic areas of the building such as parking areas, and should be emptied at least once daily.

Organics are carried from a resident’s suite to the green bin in collection bins provided to each resident. These are available at no cost from the City of Toronto. Transporting organic waste in this bin eliminates spills, costly cleaning and odours.

Items for recycling, requiring the most space, are deposited in a Blue Bin located in either the Trash/Recycling Room or the Refuse Room. Recycling should always be dry items.

While the central Trash/Recycling Room is the main collection point for landfill, organics and recycling, buildings with a sufficiently large Refuse Room on each floor may wish to consider placement of collection bins for recycling and organics in that room. When organics and recycling are collected on each floor, resident support and use are likely to increase. It is important that these bins are emptied at least once daily to prevent unpleasant odours.


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