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The city of San Antonio has implemented an aggressive recycling strategy that hopes to see up to 60% of all discarded materials effectively recycled by 2020. As part of the ordinance, multifamily properties are required to supply recycling containers in convenient locations, along with visible signage and detailed pamphlets distributed to residents. Property owners and managers are required to implement a recycling plan by July 1st, and must resubmit their recycling plans if the property changes ownership, or if there is a change in their recycling collection service.

While San Antonios multifamily recycling ordinance may sound draconian, the city is doing its part to provide a resource to connect property owners with waste haulers and recycling companies to ensure that all multifamily residents are covered under the plan. In fact, San Antonio has a 97% compliance rating for properties with over 100 units, but smaller properties with less financial resources are finding it difficult to develop recycling strategies. According to Waste Recycling News, only 16% of 826 properties with less than 100 units have obtained compliance with the ordinance, with city officials citing difficulty maintaining communication with smaller property owners. The city is offering on-site recycling training as well as cost-effective recycling plan development for property owners and managers, something smaller properties should definitely take advantage of.

San Antonio is just one of several major cities that are in the process of developing sustainable recycling programs with far-reaching effects on the multifamily industry, and the trend is only getting stronger. If you are in a city with a strong recycling program, be sure to have a plan either set in place or ready to initiate if city government decides to enact its own zero waste ordinance.

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