Calgary, AB,

Convenient, on-site recycling is here for apartments, condos and townhouses

All multi-family complexes are now required to provide on-site recycling for residents

The Waste & Recycling Bylaw requirement came into effect on Feb. 1, 2016. Multi-family building owners are responsible for setting up their program, with the flexibility to choose who provides the service and how the material is stored. Each complex's recycling program must accept paper and cardboard, food cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bags and plastic containers with recycling symbols1 – 7.

The City does not collect multi-family recycling, as private recyclers have the flexibility and service options to best serve the needs of multi-family complexes. However, The City is offering educational support and resources to help building owners and residents.

“There's no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recycling in multi-family buildings,” says Parnell Legg, Waste Diversion Specialist with Waste & Recycling Services. "The key to success is giving building owners and managers the flexibility and choice to set up a program that works for them."

A research survey was conducted after the Feb. 1 enforcement date to measure the uptake of multi-family recycling.

“Results showed that 74 per cent of multi-family buildings have an onsite recycling service,” says Legg. “This is a significant increase since the multi-family recycling requirement came into effect.”

Some multi-family building owners are still setting up a recycling service that works best for their complex.

“The City continues to provide support to ensure all residents have access to recycling,” says Legg.

Multi-family residents should talk to their building owner or manager about the recycling options available in their complex. Residents should contact 311 if they are concerned that a recycling service is not being offered.

The bylaw requirement was developed through extensive engagement that showed high support from residents.

“In the past few years, we've seen Calgarians become more and more interested in recycling,” says Legg. “We continue to see a high level of support from multi-family residents, with 93 per cent supporting the multi-family recycling program," says Legg.

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