December 4th, 2014
Ethically speaking, there’s no doubt that it’s painful to see others throw their paper, food containers, and soda cans into the garbage without a second thought. After all, you hate the idea of harming the planet and not leaving the world a better place for future generations . . .
As a property owner or manager, you’ve seen your fair share trash thrown out by your tenants. But what breaks your heart is when tenants fail to take the extra time to do something so small yet so significant: recycling.
Here are 5 ways to encourage your tenants to recycle:
If you don’t already have one, insert a section in your rental contract stipulating that the tenant will abide by HOA regulations and any city, state, and government ordinances—such as recycling and composting ordinances.
Sometimes the main reason people don’t recycle is because they don’t know how to.
Consider providing your tenants with clearly labeled recycling boxes or containers. Why not go the extra mile and include a list of items that should (or should not) go into each container, as well as location-specific recycling instructions such as removing lids or rinsing recyclables.
Make sure communal recycling containers are easy for tenants to access, especially if they don’t have room for big recycling containers in their homes.
Keep this area neat and make sure that containers are large enough to accommodate your tenants’ weekly recyclables in order to prevent overflow and unpleasant odors.
Don’t hesitate to give tenants information about new recycling practices and ordinances. In California you may want to inform your tenants about some of the policies posted to www.calrecycle.ca.gov. Perhaps your tenants don’t know about this tidbit found on the site:
“By law, you can bring up to 50 aluminum, 50 glass, 50 plastic, and 50 bi-metal California Redemption Value (CRV) containers in a single visit and request to be paid by count. You will be paid the full CRV redemption of 5 cents or 10 cents on each container. Inform the site attendant of your load content and how you would like to receive payment before you hand over your load.”
After all, information on recycling refunds might be welcome news to your tenants.
If you still have tenants who can’t commit to recycling, meet with them face to face and explain how you have to sort through the trash to look for recyclables, which is both unpleasant and a “waste” of time. Inform them that failure on their part to recycle results in a fine that you as the manager or owner are required to pay.
Chances are, your tenants will have no idea about what goes on the “behind the scenes” and will be more conscientious about discarding their unwanted items appropriately.