Apartment Waste & Recycling

green apartment recycle carts in a row

Overview

Multi-family (apartment and condominium) residents comprise an essential and significant part of Gainesville's community. Currently, there are more than 30,000 multi-family units available for rent within the city. Most multi-family properties in Gainesville have garbage and recycling collection services provided by private companies. Commercially-collected residential properties within the City of Gainesville must establish a recycling program that includes the recycling of all designated recyclable materials and is convenient and accessible to tenants.

The City of Gainesville’s Solid Waste Division is available to help multi-family properties fulfill the requirements of the city's Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance. Solid Waste Division professionals are available to provide technical assistance in starting up recycling programs, reaching compliance with the ordinance, tenant educational, and providing a listing of commercial service providers authorized to provide garbage and recycling collection services within the City of Gainesville.

Zero Waste Toolkit For Multi-family Property Managers & Owners

Multi-family toolkit cover page The City of Gainesville Solid Waste Division has created a free Zero Waste Toolkit For Multi-family Property Managers & Owners(PDF, 2MB) . This toolkit is designed to help property managers and property staff:

  • Evaluate current waste streams and improve collection programs;
  • Identify the necessary steps to reach compliance with city ordinances;
  • Increase resident participation and understanding of collection programs; and
  • Establish a system to ensure long-term participation and success. 

Download Toolkit(PDF, 2MB)

Multi-family Property Regulations & Ordinances

Recycling at Multi-family Properties

Multi-Family Residential Properties must establish a recycling program that:

  1. Include recycling of all designated recyclable materials (Corrugated Cardboard, Paperboard, Newspaper & Magazines, Office Paper, Metal Cans, Glass Bottles & Jars, and Plastic Bottles, Jugs & Jars)
  2. Recycling must be as convenient and accessible to residents as garbage collection.
  3. Provide an adequate level of service and capacity of designated recyclable collection containers.
  4. Post and maintain recycling educational signs in common areas where recyclables are collected.
  5. Distribute recycling information to all tenants at least once annually and to all new tenants on move-in.
  6. Provide at least one indoor recycle storage container(PDF, 1MB) per unit (effective 10/1/2023).
    • Note: The owner of each individual unit shall be ultimately responsible for the provision of indoor containers.  Each management company, home owner’s association, or condominium association that does not take the responsibility of providing indoor containers shall notify the individual unit owners that the provision of indoor containers is the responsibility of each individual owner. Notification shall be at the time of transfer of ownership and annually as required by the City of Gainesville’s solid waste ordinances.


FAQ

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To improve and encourage the collection of recyclable materials at commercially-collected residential properties by requiring commercially-collected residential properties to provide information regarding recycling and make recycling separation and disposal convenient and accessible for tenants.


Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected residential property can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that space is not available at a given property for additional container placement. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected residential property shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.


What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.


Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.i.

Collection Frequency at Multi-family Properties

Commercial-collected residential waste generators not serviced by a compacting dumpster, are required to receive garbage collection service no less than twice per week. Commercial-collected residential waste generators must arrange for items such as furniture, appliances, construction and demolition debris or any material not considered a part of the customer's normal collection service to be picked up within seven days of being placed for collection.

FAQ

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To improve the health, safety, welfare, and aesthetics of the nearby community by requiring more frequent collection from commercially-collected residential properties and requiring property owners to provide adequate space for commercial tenants to dispose of solid waste. Larger volumes of garbage left uncollected can result in odor and pest control problems.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If a commercially-collected residential property cannot meet the requirements of this ordinance, the commercial establishment shall cooperate with the city to develop an acceptable collection plan. The city will make the final determination based on the location, type of waste generated, and the volume of waste generated at the commercially-collected residential property.


What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $100.00 per occurrence or per day.


Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 1, Sec. 27-75.b. & Ch. 27, Div 1, Sec 27-75.d.7.

Collection of Bulk Items & Appliances at Multi-family Properties

old sofa, mattress and fridge set next to blue trash dumpster Commercial-collected residential waste generators must arrange for items such as furniture, appliances, construction and demolition debris or any material not considered a part of the customer's normal collection service to be picked up within seven days after set out for collection.

FAQ

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To ensure the proper disposal of bulky items from tenants in a timely manner from commercially-collected properties.


Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

Commercial-collected residential properties (multi-family properties) may contact their garbage service provider to collect these bulky items or self-haul the materials to a commercial disposal or recycling facility.


What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

If items are not picked up within seven days of being placed for collection, the city manager or designee may issue notice by hand delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested. If the material has not been removed within 24 hours after notification by the city, the city manager or designee may order such removal, and all costs incurred shall be placed against the property owner.


Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 1, Sec. 27-75.d.7.

Lease Transition Plan (Reuse Plan) at Multi-family Properties

EFFECTIVE: 7/1/2023 for properties with at least 200 leased units & 1/1/2025 for properties with at least 50 leased units

Multi-Family Residential Properties must submit a Lease Transition Plan (a.k.a., Reuse Plan) to divert usable and functioning household goods, furnishings, and electronics, and recyclable cardboard resulting from the high volume move-in and move-out periods. Lease Transition Plans(PDF, 451KB) are to be submitted to the City of Gainesville's Solid Waste Division.

 At a minimum this plan must contain:

  1. Notice to tenants at least one month in advance of move-out period with donation information.
  2. Location of donation collection site.
  3. Weather protection plan.
  4. Identify the local reuse organization that will accept donated goods.

FAQ

What is a lease transition plan?

A lease transition plan (reuse plan) is a written proposal be developed by each commercially-collected residential property to divert from the landfill waste stream usable and functioning household goods, furnishings, and electronics, and recyclable cardboard resulting from the high volume move-in and move-out periods that occur April 20 – May 15 and July 20 - August 25 of each year.


Why was this ordinance adopted?

To reduce disposition of functional household goods, funishings, electronics and recyclable cardboard at landfills by requiring larger commercially-collected properties to have lease transition plans to divert these materials from the waste stream during high volume move-in and move-out periods typical of housing geared toward students tenants.


Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected residential property demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that the volume of designated recyclable materials generated is de minimus or space is not available at a given property for additional container placement. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected residential property shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.


What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation.


Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.j.

Food Waste Collection at Multi-family Properties

Note: Enforcement of this ordinance is currently on hold as there is a lack of available food waste contractors in the area providing this service to multi-family properties.

EFFECTIVE: 6/1/2024

All commercially-collected residential serviced property owners/developers and their affiliated entities, including but not limited to landlords, management companies, condominium associations, and home owner associations shall establish a food waste collection program that:

(a)  Includes collection and diversion of food waste from the waste stream. 

(b)  Provides an industry standard food waste container in a common area on the property that is as convenient and accessible to the residents as garbage and recovered materials collection containers. 

(c)  Provides an adequate level of service and capacity of food waste collection containers based on the number of residents, units, or generation at the property.

(d) Prominently posts and maintains one or more signs in common areas where food waste is collected that specify the materials accepted as food waste;

(e) Distribute food waste collection information to all tenants at least once annually and to all new tenants on move-in.

(f) Provide at least one indoor food waste storage container per unit.

  • The owner of each individual unit shall be ultimately responsible for the provision of indoor containers.  Each management company, home owner’s association, or condominium association that does not take the responsibility of providing indoor containers shall notify the individual unit owners that the provision of indoor containers is the responsibility of each individual owner.

    Notification shall be at the time of transfer of ownership and annually as required by the City of Gainesville’s solid waste ordinances.


FAQ

Why was this ordinance adopted?

This ordinance is necessary to achieve the waste reduction goals of the city by ensuring maximum processing of food waste. Diverting food waste from the waste stream reduces greenhouse gases like methane from being generated when food waste breaks down in landfills. Far fewer greenhouse gases are produced when food waste is processed through composting, and nutrients are returned to the soil or provided in a finished compost product.


Are there any exemptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected residential property demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that space is not available at a given property for additional container placement or provides proof that the commercially-collected residential property is unable to comply due to lack of available service providers. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected residential property shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.


What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.


Is there a form to fill out?

Yes. Lease Transition Plans(PDF, 592KB) are to be submitted to the City of Gainesville's Solid Waste Division.


Ordinance No. 210626, Ch. 27, Div. 7.

 

Strategies to Increase Recycling & Reduce Contamination at Multi-family Properties

young woman holding a blue recycle bin full of recyclables Establishing a successful recycling program at an apartment complex or other multifamily property can sometimes be a challenging endeavor.

Here are six strategies that property managers can employ to increase recycling participation and reduce recycling contamination:

  1. Use recycling collection containers that are a different color and/or design than garbage collection containers.
  2. Make certain all recycling collection containers are clearly labeled for recycling and list what items are and are not accepted in your recycling program.
  3. Pair recycle collection containers with garbage collection containers so recycling will be equally convenient for tenants to access.
  4. Ensure you have sufficient recycling and garbage collection services (container capacity or collection cycles per week) to accommodate the number of tenants living at the property.
  5. Keep collection containers and surrounding areas clean and litter-free.
  6. Educate tenants about your recycling program as they move in and send out regular recycling reminders.

A successful apartment recycling program requires a partnership among the recycling service provider, property management, and tenants. With proper guidance, most residents will happily and correctly recycle, and they will appreciate your efforts to provide quality recycling services.

Multi-family Property Resources

Zero Waste Toolkit For Multi-family Property Managers & Owners

Zero Waste Toolkit For Multi-Family Property Managers & Owners(PDF, 2MB)

Multi-family Property Recycling Signs

FREE SIGNS – The Solid Waste Division has free 14” by 22” universal recycling station signs available (while supplies last). These signs help educate tenants on materials accepted and not accepted for recycling at recycling collection stations and meet the ordinance requirement for recycling educational signs in common areas where recyclables are collected. To request signs for your property, contact the Solid Waste Division’s zero waste staff at waste@gainesvillefl.gov or 352-334-2330.

apartment recycling station sign design

Below are recycling educational signs that are free to download and use to promote proper recycling at multi-family properties. Property managers can download and printout these signs to place in and around recycling collection areas.

Indoor Recycle Storage Containers

List of approved recycle storage containers(PDF, 1MB)

Property Lease Transition Plan

Multi-Family Property Lease Transition Plan Form(PDF, 725KB)