TO: Seth Noah, Landlord
CC: Sam Cook, the Apartment manager
Christina Diaz, Residents’ representative
FROM: Damon Gordon Representative from the EPA
DATE: 06 July 2018
SUBJECT: A proposal for recycling in an Apartment complex
My proposal focuses on the introduction of a recycling program for an apartment complex. Recycling is becoming more popular in today’s environment as more businesses go green in an effort of securing environmental sustainability. With more individuals living in apartment complexes, it is important to appreciate the extent of waste produced by such complexes. Recycling serves as a sustainable solution that can translate into tangible benefits for tenants and landlords.
Being a tenant in an apartment building, I have experienced the level of waste that enormous complexes generate. This has inspired me to suggest the implementation of a recycling program for the apartment complex in the hope that it will inspire positive change among residents with regards to waste and recycling. Through education, the program will create awareness about the significance of recycling to garner support from the tenants and in so doing increase the program’s capacity for success.
In case of any questions, I am available through my email firstname.lastname@example.org and phone 234-987-654. I highly appreciate your consideration and hope we can work together towards promoting a sustainable living environment.
A proposal for recycling in an Apartment complex
A proposal prepared for
Seth Noah, Landlord
XYZ Apartment complex
Name, Representative from EPA
Table of Contents
Apartment buildings have the capacity to reduce their amount of waste by recycling matter like glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum. The collaboration between management, property owners and the tenants, is a critical factor, which will determine the success of the initiative. The three-stage process includes preliminary, implementation and follow-up phase where the program will be planned and monitored. Benefits to recycling include reduced operational costs, saved space in landfills, sustainable waste disposal solutions and promoting a sense of community living among residents. Just like any program, the recycling initiative in the apartment complex is likely to face some challenges like high tenant turnout, uncooperative tenants, and limited space. These problems can be easily solved by having a recycling program information sheet that instructs new tenants on the code with regards to recycling, has in-house events that create awareness and emphasize the importance of recycling, and having recycling bins in convenient locations within the complex.
With approximately 52% of Americans living in multi-family complexes, there is an increasing need for apartment complexes to become active in recycling. The proposal makes an in-depth analysis of the process and benefits of initiating a recycling program in an apartment complex. According to National Geographic (2017), we had produced approximately 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste by the year 2015. This is a shocking statistic considering plastic is recyclable and should not be disposed of irresponsibly. Demand for housing in urban areas is consistently increasing the number of apartment buildings in cities. The bigger the size of these complexes, the larger the amount of waste generated. Although promoting sustainable waste management solutions is a good idea moving forward, recycling is often considered an extra expense for the landlord as residents lack the incentive to participate in recycling programs (Li et al., 2016). The paper discusses the issue of recycling in an apartment complex to give recommendations and benefits of the recycling program.
Apartment buildings vary in size and tenants may be subjected to specific rules depending on the landlord and management. With the rising middle-class, tenants demand well-furnished buildings that are close to social amenities. Recent decades have ushered in an era of environmental consciousness which make consumers more inclined to purchase products from companies that are environmentally friendly (Li et al., 2016). This notion also applies when consumers are seeking out apartments which make the recycling program a viable investment for landlords. There is a need to synthesize tenants into adopting the program through education and awareness within the complex. Management can then work with the tenants to ensure that the recycling program is successful through the consistent increase in recycling quality and yield.
The success of the program will depend on the collaboration between the solid waste management company and the apartment building. Tenants need to be educated about the different kinds of recyclable materials and the specific bins that are designated for each material. This will prevent any instance of confusion that may greatly inconvenience the initiative. The program will be executed in different phases to ensure its accountability. First, there will be a preliminary survey to determine the current state of recycling within the complex and the attitude of residents towards recycling. The recycling program will then be implemented and finally, a follow-up survey will be conducted to ascertain the recycling habits of the tenants and their attitudes towards the outreach efforts.
The implementation of the recycling program depends on the goodwill and support of both management and the tenants. With both parties working together, the program could help reduce operational costs within the complex and promote better living. The Figure below shows the cycle of sustainable living.
Figure 1. Shows the cycle of sustainable living
Figure 1 above is a visual representation of what constitutes sustainable living. this concept of reducing, reuse and recycle is a familiar concept to tenants and will help reinforce the message of the importance of recycling. The graphic will be strategically put in the recycling bins along with other markings to distinguish the recyclable materials allocated to specific bins. The graphic also serves to appeal to audiences of all age groups, especially children. This could be instrumental in promoting a generation that is conscious of their environment. Being an illustration of sustainable living, the cycle will stand as a reminder to the participants that they exist within a community that is environmentally friendly.
The graphic is easy, catchy and memorable which enhances its capacity to make an impact in the lives of those that see it. The different colors illustrate how different components can work in unison towards the accomplishment of a much higher purpose. The cyclic nature of the process is also symbolic of the hope that we guarantee future generations by engaging in recycling. The graphic also serves to give the participants of the program a sense of pride and accomplishment in their support of the program. Their everyday actions will cement their positions as agents of change within their local communities.
The preliminary stage, as the name suggests in the initial stage. An online study will be conducted to assess the current attitudes of tenants towards recycling (Lane & Wagner, 2013). This is an important step as it serves as a data collection tool where tenants can voice their concerns about the applicability of the program. The survey will be keen to collect information about the attitude and opinions of tenants which will be used during the implementation stage. The tenants will be given informative fliers that contain information about the recycling initiative and encouraged to give suggestions that would improve the program prior to implementation.
The residents of the apartment complex are the primary target audience for the program. The program will aim at changing the behavior of the residents by encouraging them to participate in the recycling initiative and promote sustainable recycling behaviors. The following will constitute the steps during implementation:
1. Identification of best recycling service.
2. Educational outreach – In an effort to shift the behavior of residents and promote awareness about the importance of recycling, the residents will be given one-sheet fliers that explain critical aspects of the program.
3. The complex will have adequate recycling bins with tenants being given the option of having bags in their apartments. The bins will be well labeled to ensure they are easily identifiable from the regular dumpsters.
After the implementation, another online survey will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the educational outreach in influencing attitudes towards recycling. The study will also physically assess the degree to which the complex has embraced recycling based on the capacity of recyclable waste per week (Saphores & Nixon, 2014).
Recycling is a good initiative that can be instrumental in retaining and attracting new tenants. Being that the physical environment within the apartment building will be clean and inviting, it is no wonder that recycling initiatives are favored (Cifani, 2018). After the initial costs associated with the survey and implementation, management and tenants are bound to reap numerous benefits including;
1. Active environmental stewardship – The recycling initiative will provide a sense of community living and promote a cleaner and sustainable environment.
2. Save on resources – The complex will spend less on pickup costs for trash as recyclable materials like glass, plastic, and aluminum go into recycling. This will also translate into smaller sized dumpsters and less frequent pick-ups.
3. Prevent the overfilling of landfills – As more recyclable material will not end up in landfills.
4. Public opinion and goodwill – The complex will receive acclaim for its recycling initiative and attract more tenants.
Through the implementation of the program, there are bound to be challenges that could jeopardize the success of the program. First, is the issue of limited space. To counter this issue, the recycling bins should be placed in areas where tenants frequent easily to ensure they are accessible and convenient. The second problem is the high overturn of tenants in the complex which could discourage commitment. Landlords should ensure they have a recycling program information sheet that is availed to new tenants to keep them abreast with the program (Stuckey, 2015). The third major problem is disinterest where some tenants are not enthusiastic about the notion of recycling. Education is the best tool to create awareness through in-house events aimed at emphasizing the benefits of recycling.
With more Americans moving into cities, apartment buildings are increasing in size and capacity. Waste disposal is a serious issue in cities considering the filling rate of landfills which calls for a sustainable way of dealing with the issue. The initiative will be instrumental in shifting the recycling behaviors of the tenants through education and consistent communication. The reuse, reduce and recycle slogan is memorable and inspirational which will create consistent commitment. The challenges that could threaten the success of the program include unwillingness of tenants which will be countered through education. The benefits of the program are both financial and social with recycling enabling the complex to save costs on garbage collection while promoting a safe, clean and sustainable environment.
Cifani, S. (2018). How recycling can benefit your apartment complex. Retrieved from https://www.dumpsters.com/blog/recycling-save-apartment-complex-money
Lane, G. W., & Wagner, T. P. (2013). Examining recycling container attributes and household recycling practices. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 75, 32-40.
Li, T., Espínola-Arredondo, A., & McCluskey, J. J. (2016). Promoting residential recycling: An alternative policy based on a recycling reward system. Games, 7(3), 21.
National Geographic. (2017). A whooping 91% of plastic is not recycled. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/
Saphores, J. D. M., & Nixon, H. (2014). How effective are current household recycling policies? Results from a national survey of US households. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 92, 1-10.
Stuckey, S. (2015). Apartment Complex Recycling: 3 Problems and Their Solutions. Lakeshow Recycling Systems. Retrieved from https://www.lrsrecycles.com/apartment-complex-recycling-3-problems-and-their-solutions/