86°Clear

From the Forum – Recycling requirement?

by Prince Of Petworth December 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm 14 Comments

recycle_Dc
Photo by PoPville flickr user katecon

Recycling requirement?

“I live in a larger apartment building (about 50 or so units), and have been told for years by management that recycling is only in the basement. However, we recently found out that everything placed in the recycling can just goes in the trash and that the building doesn’t even have a recycling truck do pickup, just garbage. Is this allowed? I’m pretty sure it’s not, but I’m not sure what next steps to take. Anyone else ever deal with something like this?”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail Please Note this is NOT an events calendar.

  • yup

    I used to live in a building that did this. I complained to the building and reported to DCRA but nobody seemed to care.

  • textdoc

    Nope, the building isn’t allowed not to have a recycling program.
    .
    From the DPW website: “Under DC law all commercial properties or establishments located in the District of Columbia must maintain an active commercial recycling program. A commercial recycling program includes separation of recyclables from other solid waste, ensuring an adequate number of containers for separated recyclables and hiring a licensed, registered recycling hauler to regularly pick up recyclables.”
    .
    “Reporting a commercial property that does not recycle — Call the Recycling Hotline at (202) 645-8245.”

  • TJ

    straight from the DC government, with a hotline for you to call: http://dpw.dc.gov/node/418932

    Commercial Recycling

    The District of Columbia requires recycling in all commercial establishments. These include office buildings, churches, retailers, warehouses, apartment buildings (with four or more units), cooperatives, condominiums, government buildings, bars and restaurants, non-profit organizations, schools, and universities.

    Under DC law all commercial properties or establishments located in the District of Columbia must maintain an active commercial recycling program. A commercial recycling program includes separation of recyclables from other solid waste, ensuring an adequate number of containers for separated recyclables and hiring a licensed, registered recycling hauler to regularly pick up recyclables.

    What You Need to Know about Commercial Recycling

    The types of commercial properties that are required to recycle

    By law, all commercial establishments must recycle, including:

    Office buildings
    Churches
    Retailers
    Warehouses
    Apartment buildings with four or more units
    Service companies
    Cooperatives condominiums
    Bars and restaurants
    Museums
    Associations
    Nonprofit organizations
    Public and private schools
    Colleges and universities
    Items that the District requires commercial properties to recycle

    The District regulates recycling bottles, cans and paper in all businesses. Glass, metal, paper, corrugated cardboard and narrow-necked plastic bottles must be separated and containerized independently of other solid waste.

    Enforcement actions that can be taken if a commercial property does not recycle

    A commercial property can be fined for failing to comply with the recycling regulations. The fines range from $200 for a first offense to $1500 for the third violation of the same regulation within 60 days.

    Reporting a commercial property that does not recycle

    Call the Recycling Hotline at (202) 645-8245.

  • J

    Its called single stream waste management. Many, if not most, commercial buildings do this.

    • CHGal

      I thought Single Stream Recycling means all the recyclables go together, not that that recyclables and the trash go together. Meaning you separate trash from recycling, but not paper from plastic.

      • nw_dc_1988

        @CHGal, you’re correct.

        Also, glad OP asked this, my building does the same thing!

      • anon

        There are services that combine trash and recycling into one container, then take it to a transfer station where it’s sorted back into trash and recycling.

        OP, have you asked the management company about this? Also, what company picks up your building’s garbage? You could follow up with them directly if management is unresponsive.

        • bruno

          I would love, love, LOVE to take a tour of one of those sorting facilities. Watching the videos on-line of how the trash is sorted is really cool. Like a Rube Goldberg machine.

  • Philippe Lecheval

    It’s definitely required of all apartment buildings in DC, although a building of that size would need to contract with an external recycler. I think you need to report them to DPW.

  • U neighbor

    I’ve witnessed a Metro maintenance person combine the contents of the recycle and trash bins and carry it away mixed. It was a smaller scale, and I have no evidence that Metro does this system-wide, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if this was the norm, or even Metro policy.

  • facts

    The reality is that recycling household waste makes people feel better about their consumption, but doesn’t actually do anything for the environment. In fact, allowing people to recycle more stuff (as opposed to a couple materials which actually are useful to recycle, like aluminum) turns the balance against being environmentally friendly thanks to the energy expended collecting, sorting, and transporting plastics and other materials that aren’t beneficial to recycle.

    • bruno

      Rubbish! (pun intended).

    • Steve F

      Seriously wrong. It used to be possible to actually make money from recycling at a municipal level thanks to high commodity prices. Now that commodity prices are low, recycling programs need subsidy, but it’s still a lot cheaper than paying to dispose of all that stuff in a landfill.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list