BarrierBest Practices Inventory _1 Multifamily Recycling

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					Barrier/Best Practices Inventory #1

      Multifamily Recycling: Barriers and Opportunities
   A Barrier/Best Practices Inventory: The Basis of Community-Based Social Marketing

Introduction                                         problems associated with aesthetics,
    Understanding the barriers to                    litter, etc.);
recycling in multifamily buildings is the more expensive (recycling services
first step towards expanding recycling in            and specialized containers cost more
this sector. Practices that have led to              money; buildings using smallest-sized
success in other locales suggest                     dumpsters usually can’t save on trash
strategies that can be tested for                    bill by recycling);3
acceptance and effectiveness in your     just another headache (additional
own community.                                       containers for recycling attract more
                                                     illegal dumping and acts of vandalism,
Barriers                                             winter access to recycling containers
   Building owners/managers, residents,              and changes in collection schedules
haulers and communities all experience               due to weather, etc.);
barriers to successful multifamily       sometimes contaminated with non-
recycling. In the late 1990s, the City of            recyclables/improperly prepared
Northampton and sixteen surrounding                  recyclables. Containers must be
towns conducted a series of forums with              monitored for contamination and the
funding from the Department of Housing               contamination is difficult to trace back
and Community Development. The                       to the tenant generator;4
forums brought together building         confusing (guidelines are complex or
owners/managers, haulers and                      always changing).
community officials to discuss common               Education and Outreach..
perceptions about and barriers to                 ..My tenants don’t read (they already
multifamily and commercial recycling.             “know” the information, are illiterate or
Their findings are the basis of the barrier       lazy, etc.);
inventories for building owners and               ..Many multi-unit buildings have multi-
managers and haulers below. A                        lingual populations and multilingual
separate end note is listed for barriers             recycling information is not always
that were identified via research                    available;5
conducted by another organization or              ..Education and outreach needs to be
via the Northampton forums and another            constantly provided with a variety of
organization.                                     approaches.
   Where resources allow, it is wise to             My waste hauler..
use the information below as a starting           ..Does not provide recycling services or
point for further research into the                  is unwilling/unable to provide recycling
barriers that most impact multifamily                services at a reasonable cost;
recycling in your community.                      ..Holds a long term contract that
                                                  prohibits me from obtaining other
Multifamily Building Owners and                   services;
Managers Stated That:1                            ..Landfills or sorts all recyclables from
  Recycling..                                     trash anyway, why should we bother to
..adds to employees’ responsibilities;2           source separate? unsanitary/unslightly (bottles & cans        ..Will not return my phone calls about
   are smelly and attract bugs, extra             recycling services;
   recycling collection containers add to         ..Will not share data or stopped
                                                  reporting quantities collected.6

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Barrier/Best Practices Inventory #1
  My tenants…                                     Residents Stated That:
..are not likely to recycle/have low                Communication..
   awareness and motivation/are not               ..Tenant/apartment complex
   interested in recycling (associated with       communication problems can be caused
   language/cultural barriers,                    in whole or in part by uninterested
   education/literacy, low income,                property managers.10
   transience, etc.);7                              Confusion..
..use blue recycling bins for other               ..In some communities, haulers may be
purposes and/or take them when they               free to change the list of acceptable
move.                                             materials as market prices dictate, even
  My town/city…                                   if this discourages participation in the
..does not provide support or resources           recycling program.11
to multifamily properties.                          Inconvenience..
  My multifamily property…                        ..“Recycling can be less convenient for
..has limited or non-existent                     residents than taking out the garbage.”12
   exterior/interior storage area (due to         In East Harlem, New York, the results of
   layout, conflicting use, health/fire           a recycling survey revealed that
   codes, etc8                                    residents in public housing were
                                                  significantly more likely to cite the lack
Haulers Stated That:9                             of a convenient drop site as a barrier to
  Markets..                                       recycling than those in privately owned
..Recycling markets are                           buildings. It was also true that the
unstable/unprofitable.                            distance to the designated place for
  Feasibility/Logistics..                         recycling was generally greater for the
..Dedicated collection routes for                 public housing residents and that public
recyclables are often unfeasible and/or           housing residents were more likely to
inconvenient due to limited resources             say that there were relatively few
(related to time/distance, availability of        containers in which to put the
vehicles/labor, etc.).                            recyclables.13
..The bottom line: customers may be               Communities
unwilling to bear the extra cost of                 Lack of Incentives..
recycling services; the overall service           ..There is a lack of incentives for
price must be competitive in the                  property owners to implement and
marketplace. Customers are not                    support recycling programs in their
seeking these services (due to apathy,            multifamily buildings and for haulers to
other priorities, lack of education about         provide comprehensive recycling
the benefits of recycling, lack of                services to multifamily buildings.14
awareness about available services,               ..Landlords, not tenant generators, pay
apprehension about costs, etc.).                  garbage bills, making it hard for
  Space..                                         communities to effectively use Pay As
..There isn’t any room for additional             You Throw incentives.15
collection containers at the customer’s           ..Containers are “shared” so it is difficult
site.                                             to see who does and who doesn’t put
  Higher priorities..                             out recyclables.16 This fact limits
..Other issues and problems are higher            opportunities to utilize peer pressure
on our priority list.                             within multifamily buildings to encourage
                                                  participation in recycling programs.17

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Barrier/Best Practices Inventory #1
  Limited Budgets..                              from taxes. Higher diversion rates are
..Municipal budgets for implementing             associated with a greater likelihood that
and promoting diversion programs in              programs are funded via a fee charged
multi-unit buildings are limited.18              to multifamily buildings. Furthermore,
                                                 as diversion rates increase, the
Opportunities                                    percentage of communities with a fee in
   Various organizations and                     excess of $2 per household per month
researchers have examined multifamily            also increases. Communities with higher
recycling programs across multiple               diversion rates are more likely to charge
buildings or multiple communities. They          a flat monthly fee for recycling service,
have drawn conclusions about program             generally per household or per complex.
elements that appear to be effective in          There is also more often a variable-
overcoming barriers to increased                 based fee for multi-family refuse in
recycling. Some organizations suggest            communities achieving a high diversion
possible strategies that are not in              rate.20
widespread use, but that have the                   Mandatory Participation
potential to overcome barriers.                     Buildings
   Where program elements or                        High diversion programs are more
strategies lend themselves to testing on         likely to be mandatory.21 A Portland, OR
a small scale before community-wide              ordinance requires multifamily buildings
implementation, it is wise to conduct a          to establish recycling programs that
pilot. Small scale pilots will tell you if       collect mixed paper, newspaper and
these practices result in increased              three other materials. The Portland
diversion within your program’s specific         Bureau of Environmental Services found
parameters. Managers are also                    that the proportion of complexes with no
encouraged to refer to the cited                 recycling program dropped from 10% in
documents for more details on the                1995 to 2% in 1996 as a result of the
program elements and strategies                  ordinance.22 High diversion programs
described below.                                 are more likely to report the use of fines,
   Contracting Arrangements                      liens or other sanctions against
   Programs with high diversion rates            complexes that do not recycle
are more likely to contract with a private       properly.23
firm than to use municipal employees to             Haulers
collect the recyclables. They are also              Communities can require haulers to
more likely to award one private firm the        provide multifamily recycling services by
exclusive right to collect from all              ordinance or by contracts or franchise
multifamily buildings via contract or            agreements. In Tehema County,
franchise agreement, as opposed to a             California, the County’s franchise
subscription arrangement in which each           agreement with a local hauler requires
building contracts for its own service           the hauler to provide its multifamily
independently.19                                 building trash customers with recycling
   Fees                                          and yard waste collection at no extra
   Implementing a recycling program for          cost. The company must provide carts
multifamily buildings via any system             and bins for trash and recyclables and
except mandated subscription                     must accept certain materials for
arrangement requires government                  recycling.24
funding. Allocations can be derived                 Requiring Recycling plans
from the general fund, or from a fee or             Requiring multifamily owners to
tax. Interestingly, communities with             develop and file recycling plans stops
lower diversion rates are more likely to         short of requiring recycling, but
pay for multifamily recycling service

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Barrier/Best Practices Inventory #1
motivates some buildings to sign up for          factor in achieving high or improved
recycling.25                                     program performance. For example,
   Requiring recycling in the lease              communities that know where
   Communities can recommend that                containers have been distributed and
building managers require residents to           how often they are emptied are better
recycle as part of the lease.26                  able to target their program promotions,
   Containers                                    education efforts and outreach
   High diversion programs are more              elements, which encourage
likely to use 90 gallon carts. They are          participation.”30
less likely to use cans or 60 gallon carts          Education and Outreach
or to use 18 gallon bins. “The 90 gallon            High diversion programs are more
wheeled cart has several advantages,             likely to have more frequent mailings to
including mobility on site, low square           individual households, while
footage required for siting and                  communities with lower diversion rates
compatibility with the semi-automated            tend to have less frequent mailings and
side loading compartmentalized trucks            rely more on the property managers.31
frequently used for single family                Outreach in multiple languages is
recycling.” “Higher diversion programs           important. “Some communities are
also serve fewer households (15-19) per          experimenting with outreach materials
set of recycling containers than lower           that are all pictures so the materials do
diversion programs (26). Less sharing            not have to be translated.”32 Because of
of containers means each set is located          higher turnover in many multifamily
closer to each apartment unit, making it         buildings, reaching newcomers is more
more convenient for residents to drop off        of an imperative than in single family
their recyclables.”27                            homes. The City of Davis, CA identifies
   Providing bins or baskets for storing         new residents by monitoring phone
recyclable materials within individual           service accounts. The city sends its
apartment units may also lead to higher          “Garbage Guide” directly to every new
diversion levels.28                              phone service customer in the city.33
   Number of Materials Accepted                     In Portland, OR, it was determined
   “Communities with high diversion              that contamination could be reduced in
rates include more materials in their            medium-sized buildings by providing
multifamily recycling programs, an               residents with specific feedback on
average of 10.3 materials, compared to           contamination problems in their building
8.2 materials in the communities with            or with more general feedback on the
low diversion rates.” Communities with           most common types of contamination
high diversion rates are more than twice         problems occurring in Portland’s
as likely to include mixed waste paper           multifamily recycling program as a
and other plastics. They are also much           whole. Asking residents to sign a
more likely to include OCC, magazines            pledge to prepare items in accordance
and phone books.29                               with the City’s guidelines also led to a
   Tracking Performance                          decrease in contamination in medium-
   “Keeping track of the performance of          sized buildings, defined as buildings
a program (in terms of the number of set         with 11-30 units. It was found that small
outs, number of containers distributed,          buildings (10 or fewer units) had fewer
how often the containers are emptied,            problems with contamination than the
number of households in complexes                other buildings regardless of whether
receiving service, number of complaints          any outreach was attempted. None of
registered and service violation notices         the outreach methods was able to
issued, and quantity of materials                reduce contamination problems in very
collected) is itself a probable causal           large buildings (100 or more units).34

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Barrier/Best Practices Inventory #1
   User Friendliness/Convenience                  time $100 rebate on trash bills to the
   The Recycling Education Project at             management of buildings with Friends of
Portland State University in Oregon               Recycling volunteers.39 Seattle has not
examined recycling at twelve similar              evaluated the effectiveness of its
multifamily complexes. Two factors that           “Friends of Recycling” program,
showed correlation with participation             however. Interestingly, the use of
were user friendliness of the collection          volunteer outreach coordinators was
containers, (defined by visibility,               one of four different outreach techniques
prominence, attractiveness and                    tested in 98 multifamily buildings in
cohesiveness) and the location of the             Portland, OR. In the Portland test,
recycling facilities, (including proximity        volunteer outreach coordinators were
to the trash container, resident traffic          ineffective at increasing the quantity or
and living units, and the absence of              quality of multifamily recyclables.40
physical barriers to the facilities).35              Hauler Incentives
Several other surveys also identified                Communities with hauler-provided
these same factors as elements of                 service (though contract or franchise)
success.36                                        can provide financial rewards to their
   Management Support                             hauler(s) for increasing recycling in the
   The Recycling Education Project at             multifamily sector. This provides an
Portland State University also found that         incentive to the hauler to become a
manager commitment (motivation, direct            more active agent in promoting
participation and interest) correlated            multifamily recycling.41
with participation.37                                Logistical Strategies
   Creating Incentives                               Hardware Solutions
   Direct Tenant Incentives                          Systems are now available that make
   Because Pay-As-You-Throw                       recycling as convenient as trash
programs can’t reach tenant generators            disposal in large buildings with central
directly, one possible strategy is to             garbage chutes. The chutes are
provide credits on “other” bills to tenants       retrofitted to be used for both garbage
in buildings that meet defined criteria as        and up to 6 recycling streams. The
a participating recycling building. This          tenant pushes the appropriate button at
strategy might be feasible in                     the chute – selecting ”containers” for
communities that provide residents with           their bottles and cans and then selecting
energy or water services. The strategy            “garbage” for their trash disposal. The
would give tenants a financial stake in           systems have been installed in Florida,
helping make sure that that building              New York, Canada and other locations
continued to have recycling available             and have been assessed in several high
and that participation was high enough            rise buildings in Toronto. Increases in
and contamination low enough so that              recycling from 25% to 45% were found
the building would remain “qualified” to          after the systems were installed. Three
receive the credits.38                            year paybacks from lower garbage bills
   Management Incentives                          are fairly typical.42
   “Some communities provide                         Requiring Space for Recycling
incentives to building managers to                   Modifying the building codes to
establish, improve or promote recycling.          require adequate space for recycling in
For example, Seattle’s “Friends of                new and remodeled multifamily
Recycling” volunteer program trains               buildings can help make recycling as
individuals who then champion recycling           convenient as garbage disposal for
within their building.” The volunteer can         tenants.43
either be a member of the management
staff or a tenant. Seattle issues a one-

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Barrier/Best Practices Inventory #1

Resources                                              37
  More information on overcoming the                      Katzev, et. al (1993) p383.
                                                          Skumatz & Green, (1999) p6.
barriers to recycling can be found at                  39
                                                          Lease, K. (2001) p6; Skumatz, L.A & Green,           J.L. (1999) p5; Kain, L. (2002).
Click on “Behavior Change Tools.”                      40
                                                          De Young, R. et. al. (1995) p260.
Questions about this inventory can be                     Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p6; Lease,
directed to Brooke Nash of the                         K. (2001) p6.
                                                          Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p10.
Massachusetts Department of                            43
                                                          Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p9; Lease,
Environmental Protection at 617-292-                      K. (2001) p5.
                                                       Bouquillon, K. A. (2000). Regional Business and
End Notes                                                 Multifamily Housing Recycling Report. (Report
  Bouquillon, K. A. (2000).                               prepared for the Department of Housing and
  Bouquillon, K. A. (2000); Skumatz, L.A. &               Community Development).
  Green, J.L. (1999) p1.                               De Young, R., Boerschig, S., Carney, S.,
  Bouquillon, K. A. (2000); Skumatz, L.A. &               Dillenbeck, A., Horst, S., Kleiner, B., &
Green, J.L. (1999) p1.                                    Thomson, B. (1995). Recycling in Multifamily
  Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p1; EPA              Dwellings: Increasing Participation and
  (2001) p51.                                             Decreasing Contamination. Population and
5                                                         Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary
  Bouquillon, K. A. (2000); Recycling Council of
Ontario (2000) p51; EPA (2001) p47.                       Studies, 16(3) 253-267.
  EPA (2001) p47.                                      Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2001).
7                                                         Multifamily Recycling: A National Study
  Bouquillon, K. A. (2000); EPA (2001) p47.
8                                                         [Report #EPA530-R-01-018]. Washington,
  Bouquillon, K. A. (2000); Skumatz, L.A. &
  Green, J.L. (1999) p1.                                  DC: Author.
9                                                      Lease, K. (2001). Recycling in Multifamily
  Bouquillon, K.A. (2000).
   EPA (2001) p47.                                        Dwellings: A Model for Local Government
   EPA (2001) p47.                                        Recycling and Waste Reduction. (Report
   Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p1;                 prepared for the California Integrated Waste
Recycling Council of Ontario (2000) p51; Margai,          Management Board). Sacramento, California.
F.L. (1997) p786.                                      Kain, Liz. (2002, August). City of Seattle Public
   Margai, F.L. (1997) p781 & 788.                        Utilities. Personal Communication.
   Recycling Council of Ontario (2000) p51.            Katzev, R., Blake, G. & Messer, B. (1993).
   Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p1.                 Determinants of Participation in Multi-Family
16                                                        Recycling Programs. Journal of Applied
   Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p1.
   Recycling Council of Ontario (2000) p51.               Social Psychology, 23(5) 375-385.
   Recycling Council of Ontario (2000) p51.            Margai, F. L. (1997). Analyzing Changes in
   EPA (2001) p39.                                        Waste Reduction Behavior in a Low Income
   EPA (2001) p45.                                        Urban Community Following a Public
   EPA (2001) p41.                                        Outreach Program. Environment and
   Lease, K. (2001) p5.                                   Behavior, 29(6) 769-792.
   EPA (2001) p51.                                     Recycling Council of Ontario. (2000).
   Lease, K. (2001) p5                                    Assessment of Multi-Unit Recycling in
   Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p8.                 Ontario. [Report]. Belleville, Ontario, Canada:
   Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p9.                 Author.
   EPA (2001) p40.                                     Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999). Movin’ On
   Recycling Council of Ontario (2000) p50.               Up – Strategies for Increasing Multifamily
   EPA (2001) p42; Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L.            Recycling. [Report]. Skumatz Economic
   (1999) p11.                                            Research Associates, Inc., Superior,
30                                                        Colorado: Author.
   EPA (2001) p43.
   EPA (2001) p52; Recycling Council of Ontario        This project is funded by a grant from the
   (2000) p51.                                         Massachusetts Department of Environmental
   Skumatz, L.A. & Green, J.L. (1999) p11.             Protection.
   Lease, K. (2001) p7.
   De Young, R. (1995) p263.                    This document was prepared by Aceti Associates
   Katzev, R. et. al. (1993) p374 & 379.               of Arlington, MA.
   Skumatz & Green (1999) p11; Recycling                                     Printed on recycled paper
   Council of Ontario (2000) p50.

                                                   6                                 November 20, 2002

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