The Relationship of Recycling in Apartment Living

Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue
Photo by Alfonso Navarro on Unsplash

With all of the environmental efforts as of late, it makes one curious as to why most apartment complexes do not employ a recycling program. According to Statista, 40 million people in the United States live in an apartment. That’s a lot of people, and that can add up to a massive amount of trash. So, how can the amount of trash consumed by these individuals be lowered? Easy. A commercial recycling program needs to be intact.

Now, it is easy to say that residents can go to their local recycling area and drop off their trash, but we all know that isn’t feasible or probable. Therefore, a commercial recycling program seems like the only viable option. By initiating a commercial recycling program, residents could have continual access to a recycling container in which they could place their recyclables when they took out the trash. This would assist residents by allowing them to contribute to environmental efforts, and it would assist apartment complexes by saving them money.

Most commercial trash programs make it so companies have to pay a tipping fee. According to AAA Polymer, this fee could cost anywhere from $44-$102 on the low-end. Now the tipping fee is charged per ton of trash that is being brought into the landfill, and that can get expensive. However, if a company such as an apartment facility decided to recycle instead, that company could be putting money back into its pockets.

First of all, if an apartment complex decided to go with a recycling program in addition to their trash program, Lane Community College’s data shows that there would most likely be a reduction in cost. Most recycling programs cost less than trash programs, and by adding the recycling factor into the equation, the facility would be lowering the tipping fee that it may spend at the landfill. Transitioning to a recycling program would be the easiest way to cut costs on waste while contributing to a greener world.

Another thing apartments could do would be to drop off some of their recyclables to centers that pay for the products. This is extra work, but if there are hundreds of plastic and aluminum bottles coming through a complex everyday, the money could add up. Also, there are several places that pay for scrap metal, and if you look it up online, there are even places that pay you to bring them your cardboard. This would put money back into the business’s pocket instead of expending them an extra cost.

It is evident that many apartments could benefit from a recycling plan. By initiating this kind of idea, the facility could employ good morale by assisting with a greener world. This kind of program may also be a perk to future residents that may be considering the property for their home, and if it is done right, the apartment complex could lower their trash bill and possibly make money off of their recyclables.


AAA Polymer. “Does Commercial Recycling Really Save Companies Money?” AAA Polymer, 17 Dec. 2019,

Lane Community College. “Cost Comparison — Recycling vs. Garbage.” Recycling Services | Lane Community College,

“Recycling Cardboard for Money — 12 Places That Buy Boxes for Cash.” Frugal Living, Coupons, and Free Stuff!, 7 July 2021,

Statista Research Department. “Topic: Apartments in the U.S.” Statista, 25 Aug. 2021,

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Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue writes lifestyle articles.

Omaha, NE

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