Why You Need to Manage Electronics Waste in Multifamily Housing

Posted by Pearson Brock on April 12, 2019

Many residents fail to properly recycle electronics when they reach their end-of-life. Often, they throw them away in the trash. This isn't safe because the electronics may contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium. These could seep into water and soil.

This tends to be a bigger problem in apartments, condos, and other multi-family communities because of turnover. When people move out, they leave behind broken and unwanted electronics like TVs, laptops, cell phones, and computers. Any electronics that end up in the trash can lead to contaminating resources, adding to landfill levels, and driving up waste bills.

What about using recycling bins instead? Doing this hurts recycling efforts. Standard city recycling bins are typically not set up for collecting electronics. Most target paper, certain types of plastics, and other small recyclable waste.

Recycling bins are out. Trash bins are out. So, what can multifamily property managers and owners do about getting rid of electronics?

Here are three things they can do:

  • Educate tenants about recycling electronics
  • Set up an electronic recycling program
  • Use live video monitoring to watch dumpsters and trash areas

Educate Tenants About Recycling Electronics

Reach out to your community through a bulletin board, online group, or any other means you use to inform and communicate with them. Take advantage of these communications tools to educate them about proper recycling.

If you offer classes and programs, perhaps you can create one for discussing electronics recycling. Another option is to educate new residents when they fill out the paperwork. Make it a part of your onboarding process.

To find nearby recycling facilities, visit search.earth911.com and enter your zip code. You'll see a list of stores and the materials they accept. Print this list and share it with your community.

Set up an Electronics Recycling Program

Check around your city for electronics recycling services or visit websites like search.911.com. For example, a nearby store may collect phones. You could place a cell phone bin in the common area. Let residents know they can toss their cell phones in the bin for recycling. Once it fills up, your staff can drop it off at the store.

One city collects TVs, computers, and many electronics. But it's not a free service. You could offer to collect this for residents when they pay up front. You're saving them the trouble of lugging electronics for recycling and offering an amenity that benefits the environment.

Use Live Video Monitoring to Watch Dumpsters and Trash Areas

You may already have live video monitoring on your property. Extend it to watch trash drop-off areas. Our trained security operators watch for issues like this when monitoring properties.

Monitoring can also help improve resident safety as trained operators can report any broken stair rails, improper dumping, and spilled liquids.

Educating tenants about electronics recycling, creating a program, and implementing remote video surveillance gives you more amenities to attract tenants. What's more is that some tenants give preference to environmentally conscious companies and they will appreciate your supporting recycling efforts.

To learn more about live video monitoring to prevent dumping and maximize safety, please contact us.

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