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 in the City of Gainesville of five or more units are required to recycle designated materials as specified by the City’s Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance (Chapter 27, Article III, Division 3, Section 27-85 & Section 85-85). All commercially-collected residential properties of five or more units shall establish a recycling program that includes recycling of all designated recyclable materials and is convenient and accessible to the residents.

commercially-collected residential properties in the City of Gainesville of five or more units 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


  • > 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

Free Recycling Signs

 Dual Stream Programs


Single Stream Programs

 (Republic, Waste Pro) 

 thumbnail image of recycling sign dual stream horizontal design thumbnail image of recycling sign dual stream 
 Horizontal Sign  Horizontal Sign
    thumbnail image of dual stream recycling sign vertical design    thumbnail image of single stream recycling sign vertical design
 Vertical Sign  Vertical Sign


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(352) 334-2330


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Recycling Resource Guide

Household Hazardous Waste


Making the Most of Your Multi-Family Property Recycling Program and Reducing Recycling Contamination

Successfully keeping contaminants out of the recycling stream at Multi-Family Properties requires a partnership between the recycling service provider, property management, and tenants. Below are listed several methods in which service providers and property managers can take to help prevent recycling contamination. While no method is foolproof, by implementing one or more of the methods below, the odds of the recycling stream becoming contaminated with trash and/or non-recyclables can be significantly reduced. With proper guidance, most residents will happily and correctly recycle, and they will appreciate your efforts to provide quality recycling services.

1. BE DISTINCTIVE – Recycle collection containers that are conspicuously visually or physically different from trash collection containers can help lower contamination. Confused or frustrated tenants will often contaminate the recycle containers with non-recyclable items. This can be improved by:

  • > Using recycling containers that are a different color than the trash containers. Try to avoid using the color black for recycle collection containers, as people commonly associate black carts with the standard residentially collected trash containers.
  • > Using different collection equipment for recycling can also help to better identify recycle containers apart from trash containers. For example, having trash collected in large-sized dumpsters and recycling collected in individual carts.

sample decal listing what recyclables are accepted and not accepted2. PROPER LABELING – All recycle collection containers should be clearly labeled in large print facing out to the public with the following information:

  • > Decals identifying the container as a recycling container, such as “Recycling,” “Recycling Only,” or “Recycle Here.”
  • > Decals warning people not to place trash in the container, such as “Warning No Trash.”
  • > Decals listing what items are accepted and not accepted in that specific recycling container or recycling program. Image-based decals work best.

3. CONTAINER PLACEMENT – 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.

4. ADEQUATE TRASH VOLUME – Be sure there is sufficient trash volume capacity to accommodate the number of tenants living at the property. Inadequate trash capacity or trash collection frequency can result in full or overflowing trash containers, which in turn might lead tenants to place trash in recycle containers.

5. ADEQUATE RECYCLE VOLUME – Consider adding a slotted and locked “Cardboard Only” recycling collection container to handle the high volume shipping boxes tenants are receiving. Adding a “Cardboard Only” container will also help to prevent other recycle containers from filling up too quickly.

three recycle carts set out along fence near trash dumpster6. KEEP TRASH COLLECTION AREA CLEAN – Trash and recycle containers, and the surrounding area around should be kept clean and litter-free. When recycle containers are left overflowing and messy, tenants may mistake the containers for garbage collection areas.

college student excited about information on her laptop7. EDUCATION – Be sure to educate new tenants about the recycling program as they move in and send out regular recycling reminders to all tenants. Recycling service providers should be able to provide a printed or downloadable list of what items are accepted and not accepted for recycling. 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 and share that URL with tenants.