Apartment Recycling

Multi-Family Properties (Apartments & Condominiums)

row of green recycling cartsThere are over 28,000 multi-family units available for rent within the City of Gainesville and meeting the recycling needs of these residents is an important part of the City’s sustainability goals. All commercially-collected residential properties of five units or more units in the City of Gainesville are required to recycle designated materials as specified by the City’s Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance (Chapter 27, Article III, Division 3, Section 85-85). Any commercially-collected residential property generating 15% or more by volume of the designated recyclable materials in their waste stream are required to separate and recycle these materials. Each Multi-Family Property (apartments and condominiums) should have recycling containers on-site that are available and accessible to their residents.

commercially-collected residential properties of five units or more units in the City of Gainesville are required to recycle designated materials

The City of Gainesville’s Solid Waste Division is available to help multi-family properties fulfill the requirements of the Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance. Solid Waste Division professionals are available to provide technical assistance in starting up recycling programs, reaching compliance with the ordinance, and a listing of recycling collection companies. To contact the Solid Waste Division, please call (352) 334-2330 or email waste@cityofgainesville.org.

Recycling containers should be clearly labeled and easily identifiable from trash containers; however, recycling collection services, including the number of available recycling containers and material accepted for recycling, often varies between properties. Recycling collection may be centralized to one recycling collection area, or there may be multiple recycling containers distributed around a property. Recycling may be collected in carts or larger dumpster-sized containers. Residents should first contact their property management staff if they have questions about the recycling services available at their property. For additional questions, residents may contact City of Gainesville’s Solid Waste Division at (352) 334-2330 or waste@cityofgainesville.org.

Multi-family property residents should read through the list of accepted recyclables as indicated on the recycling containers, and only place those accepted materials in with the recycling. When contaminants (items not accepted for recycling) make their way into the recycling stream, it increases the overall processing cost of recyclables. Contaminants cause damage to the expensive sorting equipment at the processing facility and devalue the marketability of the recyclables.

Designated Commercial Recyclable Materials

Any business generating 15% or more by volume of the designated recyclable materials in their waste stream are required to separate and recycle these materials.


  • > Corrugated Cardboard
  • > Pasteboard
  • > Newspaper, Magazines, Catalogs, Manuals, Paper Bags, Phone Books, & Paperback Books
  • > Office Paper (including shredded paper) & Junk Mail (unwanted mail)


  • > Metal Cans (steel and aluminum)
  • > Glass Bottles & Jars
  • > Plastic Bottles, Jugs, Jars & Tubs
  • > Cartons

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(352) 334-2330


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Recycling Resource Guide

Household Hazardous Waste


Making the Most of Your Apartment Recycling Program

Consistency and clear communication are two of the principal barriers to overcome in building and maintaining a successful recycling program at any property. Confused or frustrated tenants will often contaminate the recycle containers with non-recyclable items or simply give up on recycling altogether. However, with proper guidance, most residents will happily and correctly recycle, and they will appreciate your efforts to provide quality recycling services.

Here are some basic steps you can take to improve the collection of recyclables at your property:

sample decal listing what recyclables are accepted and not acceptedLABELS: All containers used for collecting and storing recyclables should be clearly labeled with recycling decals. Information on the decals should include what items are accepted and what items are not accepted for recycling in that specific container or recycling program. Image-based decals work best in educating tenants and should be placed on cart lids or the front side of dumpsters. Recycling containers also should have some type of recycling label or decal on all sides that face out.

three recycle carts set out along fence near trash dumpsterPLACEMENT: Whenever possible, recycle containers should be at least as convenient for tenants to access as garbage containers. When recycle containers are isolated or hidden away, they often go unused or become contaminated with garbage. Ideally, recycle containers should be paired in the same location as garbage containers.

CLEANLINESS: Recycle containers and the area around recycle containers should be kept clean and litter-free. When recycle containers are left overflowing and messy, tenants may mistake the containers for garbage collection areas. Having recycle containers that are a different color than trash containers can also make it easier for tenants to identify them for recycling only.

line of green recycle cars with "Recyclables Only" decals on the front of the cartsCAPACITY: The quantity and service frequency of recycle containers should be enough to accommodate the tenant population at that property. Two recycle carts serviced once a week might work for an 8 unit property; however, two recycle carts would be grossly underserving a property of 100 units. As a general rule, recycling capacity should be at least 20% of the total volume of waste collected. For example, if a property has five 4 cubic yard garbage dumpsters serviced once a week (total 5 x 4 cu. yd. x 1 = 20 cubic yards of garbage capacity per week), then the equivalent recycling volume would be 20% of the garbage volume (20 cu. yd. x 20% = 4 cubic yards of recycling capacity per week).

college student excited about information on her laptopCOMMUNICATION: Be sure to educate new tenants on your property’s recycling program as they move in and send out regular recycling reminders to all tenants. Consider having larger signage posted in recycling collection areas to help educate tenants. Set up a page on your properties website that explains the recycling program at your property and share that URL with all your tenants. Contact your recycling service provider if the recycling containers need repair or relabeling.