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Trash Talking - Waste Management Special Report

Waste management
February 2019

He’s the ideal resident. Respectable. Proper. On time. Professional. You can tell by the way he acts and dresses. Every Sunday, he carries his dry cleaning up to his apartment so he’s ready for another work week.

But did you know his plastic dry-cleaning bags are potentially driving up your waste-management costs?

These bags – as well as those that hold groceries—throw the proverbial “plastic” wrench in the high-powered machinery used at recycling sorting centers. They clog the gears. Machinery shut-downs, which occur every few hours at these MRFs (materials recycling facility) and take 30 to 60 minutes to remedy, compromise efficiency and add to maintenance costs. Guess who pays for it?

Recycling—and sustainability overall – is becoming a political, economic and logistical potential trouble spot for apartment operators. Without proper attention and execution by onsite staff, it can easily become an expensive, mismanaged mess, LITTER-ally and figuratively.

Waste-hauling costs are increasing and recycling policies are becoming more strict. Apartment operators are seeing the effects and are taking a variety of steps to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. As part of this in-depth report, information is shared about overall price trends, contamination fees, hauler contract negotiation, trash compactors, cardboard balers and composters, valet trash pickup, signage, resident education and more.

Part 1: What's Driving Up Costs for Waste Hauling at Apartments

It's truly a "mixed bag" when it comes to factors driving up waste-hauling costs -- starting with those made of plastic.

Part 2: Hauling Contract Term-Length Critical in Negotiations

When bidding for waste hauling services, apples-to-apples is hard to come by.

Part 3: Trash-Collection Franchise Markets Hold Apt Companies Hostage

Rates are non-negotiable, and usually work against the property management company.

Part 4: Waste Brokers & Trash Compactor Monitors: Do They Help?

Monitoring waste collections and hauler invoices provide a mixed bag of results.

Part 5: What to Do with Bulk Items, Cardboard, Dumpster Maintenance

There are ways to turn residents’ bad behavior into revenue – just a little bit.

Part 6: Valet Trash Can Bring Efficiency to Sorting, Hauling

So whose turn is it to take out the trash?’

Part 7: Trash Compactors: The Blood and Guts of the Operation

The manual vs. auto-push button debate is a pressing one.

Part 8: How Signage and Resident Education Makes a Big Difference

Consumers’ lack of recycling knowledge and protocol could bring a tear to your eye.

Part 9: No More Recycling: Has the Time Come?

As the motto goes, ‘When In Doubt, Throw It Out’

Part 10: Waste Management's Challenge: Defined

Globally speaking, the recycling industry is facing ‘days without precedent.’

Part 11: Dumpster Dive: Waste-Management Tracking Data's Hidden Value

Apartmentalize Session in June Will Focus on Data-Driven Strategies

Part 12: Can Onsite Composting Pass the ‘Smell’ Test?

Several apartment management companies are implementing composting stations for their residents’ use. The stations – required in some jurisdictions—help communities to meet their landfill diversion goals.

Part 13: Recyclable Glass is a Broken Market

Here’s what happened when cities stopped accepting glass as a recyclable.