Cutting Trash Overage and Recycling Contamination Charges

Help change behaviours with reliable, low effort infrastructure

Why do I end up getting additional charges and fines?

Depending where you’re located, cities and haulers are entitled to issue fines and/or additional charges, both when producers fail to recycle as well as when they contaminate recycling streams with trash or non-compliant materials. The compliance criteria itself may vary and communications often lack clarity, with confused residents then wishcycling materials like flexible plastics, for example. In short, it’s easy to get it wrong, and one non-compliant item can result in a whole load having to be landfilled and the hauler fined, so you can sort of see where they’re coming from.

Why is this worse in communal settings?

Changing recycling behavior is a mix of educating people, firstly on why and then secondly how they should recycle, and the providing an infrastructure that makes it easy for them to do so. Curbside collection works fine for single-family homes where residents take ownership of the separation process, but in communal settings such as multifamily neighborhoods this is rarely the case due shortage of storage space, both within their flats and sometimes in communal areas, as well as the overall lack of ownership and accountability.

How can this challenge be resolved?

It therefore falls to landlords to ensure that their haulers provide the right quantity and type of recycling bins in accessible locations for every household, making it super-easy for everyone to use correctly by communicating clearly which materials are to go in each container using graphics with colors and symbols rather than masses of text, as well as securing the containers within housings with restricted apertures so that users can place items straight into the correct container without getting their hands dirty.