Recycling News

Dallas lays down new recycling ordinance for big apartment buildings

Dallas lays down new recycling ordinance for big apartment buildings

Aluminum is one of the easiest things to recycle. Photo courtesy of Greenstar

A new ordinance in the city of Dallas will bring recycling to apartment complexes.

The Multifamily Recycling Ordinance was unanimously approved by the Dallas City Council on June 13, and will require that by January 1, 2020, apartment complexes with 8 or more units must provide recycling containers to residents within visible distance of garbage containers.

The new mandate is expected to have a big impact since more than half of Dallas residents live in these multifamily complexes.

Recycling options include dumpsters, bins, chutes, or valet recycling services. Whatever mode is chosen must allow for a recycling capacity equivalent to 11 gallons, per unit, per week.

Waivers and extensions may be allowed if they are approved by the director of Sanitation Services or director's designee.

It'll be up to the owners of these multifamily sites to educate tenants on the recycling program implementation; proper recycling programs; and the types of materials accepted.

Required materials are to be consistent with single-family residents:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastics #1 – #7
  • Aluminum containers
  • Metal containers
  • Glass

Recycling collection service businesses will submit annual reports beginning 2021 on the recycled materials collected from these multifamily sites by tonnage.

Sanitation Services Director Kelly High says that the January 1 date is a deadline.

"There's nothing stopping a building from starting sooner than that," High says. "Part of what the department will do up until then is education."

One thing that requires resolution is the placement of the recycling bin. The ordinance specifies that it needs to be within visible distance of the garbage containers. But there's such a thing as too close.

"If you put them side by side, there's a risk that people will use them interchangeably, so the education will be ongoing," he says.