Should Lansing expand recycling to apartment complexes?

LANSING, Michigan – Lansing collects recyclable materials in single-family homes and some businesses, but not in many of the city’s largest apartment complexes.

“If we were able to do that, the community would benefit,” said Andy Kilpatrick, director of public services for the city.

And some city officials think this should be a priority. One of the recommendations that the Public Service Board made to the City Council this year was to increase recycling in residential complexes and businesses.

Is it possible to make recycling more accessible to thousands of residents in the city?

Tianna Jenkins, WSYM, Oct. 2021

“I don’t think most apartment complexes in Lansing, or frankly the state, are recycling or providing these services to their residents. They cost these services, just like waste disposal offers recycling services, “said Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition.

Lori Welch, sustainability manager for the city of Lansing, has long recognized that the supply of all residents also includes residential complexes and people who do not live in single-family houses.

“We just haven’t been able to scale these services up as much as we’d like,” said Welch.

She says there are obstacles, including limited staff, limited trucks, equipment, and other resources.

Recycling CART on the curb in Lansing

Tianna Jenkins, WSYM, Oct. 2021

Recycling CART on the curb in Lansing

“And then the bulk containers we have are 96-gallon rollout trolleys. So if an apartment complex or business can use a cart and have a collection service where our trucks and equipment can drive in and out of the property and they can wait, they are usually able to put them on a collection route and this to do, “said Welch.

But in many cases, apartment complexes have limited space and may not have enough space to set up and easily accommodate multiple curb cars, she said.

“If we start expanding into buildings and facilities that we can’t use with our cart program, we’d have to use dumpsters, and right now the city doesn’t have the equipment to pick them up. So we really would either have to invest in more trucks and dumpsters, or we would have to work with a company that is currently doing so, “Kilpatrick said.

And then they would have to hire additional staff to operate the trucks and equipment.

“So these are some of the barriers, and it’s working with homeowners and home managers to get them to sign up and subscribe to the services and the like,” Welch said.

You would also need to educate local residents to make sure they have a clean recycling stream in these locations.

“Lansing has an interesting mix of private sectors providing services and public sectors providing services. So you will see the Lansing City trucks collecting recyclable materials and garbage providing these services. Really, apartment complexes now have access to these services, “said O’Brien.

She says that if the city provided services to more businesses and apartment complexes, it would be more cost-effective or effective.

Employees on their recycling route

Tianna Jenkins, WSYM, Oct. 2021

Employees on their recycling route

“But it would usually make the cost of these apartment complexes more affordable,” said O’Brien. “Michigan currently has a recycling rate of about 18 percent. But we can really recycle a lot more of our solid waste.

The Gillespie Group is a property management group based in Lansing. They offer recycling on most of their Lansing lots through a private company, but said they would be interested in seeing what the city has to offer.

“Recycling is a great service that people are really asking for, and if the City of Lansing can offer this service for our residence, we’d love to hear about it,” said Charette.

Valerie Marchand, a spokeswoman for Mayor Andy Schor, declined to say whether or not recycling in apartment complexes would be a priority for the Mayor in the coming year, offering only that “the Mayor, like every year, all recommendations from the City Council will check “. , and will present its budget proposal in spring 2022. “

Would you like to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News website.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Sign up for newsletters sent to your inbox via email.

Choose from these options: Neighborhood News, Breaking News, Storms, School Closures, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Comments are closed.