Recycling Not Convenient for Some Apartment Complexes

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POSTED: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 6:49pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 11:40am

Most of the trash at apartment complexes is recyclable, yet the majority of El Paso apartments don't recycle it. It's costing the city not only space, but money.

Dottie Daily lives at Del Prado apartments.

"It's beautiful here, I love it," she said.

But one thing she doesn't love: her complex doesn't recycle.

"I would like to have a recycling program here, I believe in recycling and we're trashing up our world," Daily said.

Property manager Rick Soto, who is also the president of the El Paso Apartment Association, said there's one big reason why most complexes don't recycle.

"Space, theres just no space to put additional dumpsters," Soto said.

This is where their bins used to be, before Soto did away with recycling about five months ago. He also said his disposal company required him to separate the materials like, tin and paper, before pick-up--something his maintenance crew didn't have time for.

"But its also not economically feasible for us either because we don't have the manpower," Soto said.

"In the long run we're saving money as a community," said Katherine Gunter-Palafox, president of 'keep El Paso Beautiful. "The more we defer from the landfill, the more space we save for proper trash disposal."

She said it's a shame most complexes aren't recycling because 75% of apartment trash is recyclable, and pick-up is cheap.

"It would reduce the cost of disposal of the trash and recycling costs less than trash disposal," Gunter-Palafox said.

Soto said he'd be willing to start up a recycling program again as long as it's economically viable for him. It's something Dottie wants to see sooner rather than later.

"Were trashing up our water, we're trashing up our air, we're going to run out."

What Cannot Be Recycled:

Plastic Containers with #3 through #7
• motor oil containers
• glass
• plastic bags
• pizza boxes
• medical waste (needles, syringes, lancets)
• plastic dishes, bowls or toys
• milk/juice cartons (wax coated)
• pesticide/chemical containers  


What Can Be Recycled:
• Cardboard (flattened)
• Newspaper and magazines
• Brown paper bags
• White, colored and computer paper
• Junk mail and envelopes
• Paperboard (cereal, pasta, soda cartons)
• Phone books

• Aluminum cans
• Steel, tin and bimetallic cans
• Aluminum foil and baking tins  Water / Soda bottles

• Detergent bottles, milk jugs  

Comments News Comments

I agree! That is a perfect compromise. Apartment complex`s have a major impact on our society due to the amout of trash there is- and for the most part this trash, as I have seen, is mostly cardboard boxes, papers, soda cans, and seriously recyclable stuff. If apartment communities were forced to recycle (which everyone should be) we would be another step closer to being good standing citizens of our planet.

How about a program sponsored by the City and El Paso Apartment Association for a 10% percent match for having recycling stations through out the apartment. Small and compact and helps the apartments to do recycling.

I know each apartment complex is different with many different needs but think about the bigger picture and impact your association could have.

Great PR and opens up doors and new ties to the city you are helping.

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