When it comes to recycling access, multifamily communities are among the most underserved in the U.S. Members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community are approximately twice as likely to live in multifamily housing as non-BIPOC community members. That’s why The Partnership is leading the charge to develop scalable solutions that will help multifamily residents nationwide. A 2019 Orlando, Florida, ordinance addresses this by requiring recycling at all commercial properties and at the city’s 75,000 multifamily residential units.
To implement a mandatory recycling ordinance for multifamily residents, direct and consistent communication with multifamily property managers is essential, not only to get the program started but to maintain it. With this in mind, as part of The Partnership’s grant to Orlando, we funded a full-time city employee to serve as the multifamily recycling project manager. With this new role, the city was able to communicate directly and consistently with property managers through letters, phone calls, site visits, and consultations. The project also provided extensive education and outreach to residents, including info cards showing approved recycling items and how to recycle, customizable bilingual FAQs, and recycling signage.
Overall, the city added recycling services to 21,500 multifamily units in the first year of this four-year project. By increasing participation in the city’s recycling program, Orlando diverted an additional 2.2 million pounds of recyclables from landfills in the program’s first year. Furthermore, a case study on contamination and educational intervention showed that for properties with expanded access to recycling, contamination decreased at two-thirds properties as a result of this project. In addition, The Partnership’s project team forged relationships with the participating multifamily property managers that will help the city’s recycling program for years to come.
See more stories of how The Recycling Partnership is solving with communities like Orlando, Florida in the 2022 Impact Report.