Apartment living definitely has its upsides. A smaller space means you use less energy to heat and cool, and it also means less square footage to clean. The downside to an apartment is that you don't have a lot of control over certain aspects of your home. While curbside recycling is becoming the norm, many apartment buildings still don't offer recycling pickup.
This is something I experienced in my last apartment. After a couple of years of pressure from residents, the management company finally got us bins, but before that we were pretty much on our own. For those of you still dealing with a complex that doesn't recycle, here are some tips to help you take charge of your waste.
Mooch a Little
This is something I'd do occasionally, and I'm not 100% sure that this suggestion is totally on the up and up. Do you have any friends that own a home or live somewhere that offers recycling? Maybe they'd let you add your recyclables to their bin.
If you go this route, I'd suggest being discreet and also making sure to be extra courteous. Your friends are doing you a favor, so rinse and sort your recyclables before you get to their place. You want it to be as hassle-free as possible for them.
Find a Recycling Center
If you're not comfortable mooching off of a friend with a bin, find a recycling center in your area. Ideally, you'll be able to find a place that's near other errands you're running so you don't have to travel out of the way to drop your recycling. Earth 911 is a great place to start, if you're not sure where to find a recycling center in your area.
Once you've found a recycling center, you might get a little bit sick of having to run out there every week or two. Here's a great chance to meet some neighbors and help divert even more waste from the landfill!
When I lived at that non-recycling complex, I just put a flier up by the mailboxes asking if anyone would be interested in doing a drop off rotation. A few residents emailed, and we sorted out a schedule that worked for us. Each weekend, our group met up in the parking lot to load our recycling into one person's car, and he or she took everything to the recycling center. By teaming up, we each were making one trip a month instead of each heading out individually every week.
The other thing we did was research recycling solutions for our building and offer ideas to management. Your apartment complex's owners won't know that recycling is important to their residents unless those residents speak up! We emailed and encouraged other residents we knew to ask, as well. After a while, the building set up a recycling program!
I'm sure there are other tips and tricks for apartment dwellers looking to recycle. Do any of you guys live in buildings that don't recycle? How do you handle it?
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by AGeekMom