Every community has rules for disposal of trash, otherwise known as waste management. Smaller items in the trash chute. Everything bagged. Boxes broken down. Larger items taken to a central area. Separate locations for waste, recycling and organics. Furniture and larger items have their own location, rules and possibly additional fees.
Letters and notices intended to “educate” residents on proper waste management practices go unread or ignored.
Trash is, and always will be, an ongoing challenge for high-rise communities. Every resident is a consumer who creates waste – lots of waste – in many forms. Residents want to dispose of their waste as quickly as possible in the trash chute or dumpster. Once disposed of, it “disappears” or more precisely becomes “someone else’s” problem. Few want to take time to transport it further than necessary, sort it, or undertake inconvenient cost and conservation measures.
Communities work hard at ensuring waste is properly disposed of knowing that the flow never stops and volumes grow. Better communication to residents is an important starting point.
Recycling is good for the environment and the pocketbook. Recycled items cost less to be picked up – often free by the municipality so long as residents adhere to sorting requirements.
Surveillance cameras monitoring waste areas can identify trash rule offenders who can then be notified in writing or charged for additional costs of their actions.
Technology plays a role at controlling waste management costs. Waste systems requiring repair or service are addressed faster and are out of commission for less time when technology is used to detect and diagnose problems rather than requiring a service call. Underground storage systems keep waste hidden until collected without taking up valuable above-ground space, smelling or attracting vermin. Waste bin sensors will automatically call when retrieval is required.
Waste will always be with us. A community with waste problems invites vermin, rodents and disease to their community. Finding ways to streamline waste management makes our homes safer, healthier and more enjoyable. It helps reduce costs and allows management to focus their time elsewhere.