Education and easy access are two key factors in a successful multi-residential waste diversion program, according to an Ottawa-based condo superintendent.
For the past four years, Jovan Cheff has overseen the recycling program at HOM condominium, a building with 110-units and five townhouses. When the building first introduced a green bins program, Cheff ordered kitchen containers and placed them in the mailroom for tenants to pick up. New tenants moving in were given a welcome card explaining the green bin recycling program. Soon, popularity grew, along with a sense of pride.
“We started off with two green bins,” Cheff told the City of Ottawa. “Today, we’re up to five bins of organic waste collected each week.”
The tenants’ participation in the green bin program has also led to a decrease in garbage collection, with the weekly requirement of three containers dropping now to two. It also results in a cost reduction for private collection, since there is no cost to green bin and recycling collection.
Recycling is mandatory for all Ottawa residents receiving city waste collection service. Multi-residential properties are provided a once-per-week collection of recyclable materials from front end loading (FEL) containers or recycling carts from the city’s contracted private hauler.
For other multi-residential buildings that are interested in starting their own green bin program, Cheff recommends superintendents should work with tenants who have an expressed interest and they will help get others on board. The City of Ottawa offers signs, pamphlets and other tools to help residents understand how to properly sort out waste.