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April 01, 2014

Ask Maria – Multi-family recycling

What your condo board needs to know about the City’s recycling program for condos

Maria Bartolotti

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Q: What’s going on with the City’s recycling program for multi-residential developments?

A: City council approved a strategy in February that will require multi-family housing to have on-site recycling service by 2016. However, this strategy requires an amendment to the Waste and Recycling bylaw, which Council will consider in September this year.

If approved, Condominium’s will have a 12-18 month period to transition and make the necessary requirements for their condos to allow for recycling services.

Condominiums will be required to meet the following criteria by 2016:

All multi-residential will need to ensure they provide an adequate location that it is accessible and convenient.

Multi-residential will be required to follow the same mandate as single-family dwellings when discarding materials in the current blue cart program to bring equity to all citizens.

Multi-residential will need to provide an adequate storage facility with enough room for residents to use the program without being constrained by the size of containers or bins.

Condominiums who do not comply with the bylaw in 2016 may be faced with sanctions enforceable by the City of Calgary to ensure the bylaw standards are met.

Competition in the recycling sector will be fierce come 2016, and it will be crucial for Boards to ensure due diligence when electing a private recycling company to look after their needs.

Right now, 13 per cent of all city waste headed to City landfills comes from multi-family buildings, and 22 per cent of that material is recyclable. Additionally, research showed that 93 per cent of multi-family residences support a recycling program. Keeping this waste out of the landfill will help us reach our target of 80 per cent diversion from landfills by the year 2020 and will respond to clear citizen demand for more convenient on-site multi-family recycling options.

For information on the multi-residential recycling program, please visit The City of Calgary website at and click on Multi-family recycling history page.

One thing to note, it is not necessary to wait for the bylaw to pass in order to start the program. Already, about 35 per cent of condominiums in Calgary have a recycling program in place.

Until next time …

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