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Best waste management practices in property management

Property managers have their fair share of challenges when managing portfolios of any size, and whether it’s a single household or a selection of multi-family buildings across multiple sites, there are certain tasks that no one likes.

Waste Management is one example, and very often property managers can be guilty of allowing this particular task to slip down the priority list, implementing only the minimum required to achieve compliance. However, with a little forethought and planning, you can streamline your waste management tasks and improve a whole range of metrics across any type of portfolio.

There are five key areas to focus on, and these can be applied to both a single building and your entire portfolio. Here, we take a look at how to implement best waste management practices in property management, so that you can not only reduce your workload, but also improve the quality of life of your tenants while contributing to the ‘environment.

Understand your building (s)

The first step in any waste management solution is to observe, record and evaluate. Taking the time to understand the specifics of your building or buildings will allow you to build a waste management plan from a solid foundation.

Basically, this means identifying the types and amounts of waste generated, when and where it is disposed of and collected, as well as the methods of disposal or recycling. Ideally, you want to establish a profile of the “habits” of your buildings, their evolution over time and the impact of your tenants on waste production.

Depending on the size of your wallet, it may be a good idea to hire a professional to do this for you. This will give you a complete overview of how waste is being generated and managed across all of your sites, allowing you to quickly and easily identify areas for improvement.

Optimize waste disposal routes

Once you have your waste management assessment, you can start optimizing existing building waste disposal and recycling routes. Managing materials is usually the first step in improving your current systems, and it can be done in a number of ways.

Starting with appropriate signage on existing bins and recycling containersincluding color coding according to your municipality’s specific system, you can improve material separation at source. This ensures simplified disposal for tenants, cleaners and building managers. It also allows you to streamline the collection process and more easily stay compliant with waste diversion rules or recycling laws in your municipality.

Then you should start looking for ways to reduce the waste that is removed from the site or reduce the volume of that waste. On-site cardboard scoops, for example, can help significantly reduce packaging waste volumes, while composting facilities can help keep food waste on-site. In addition, you can involve your stakeholders in reducing waste and recycling programs.

Involve tenants and stakeholders

Today, consumers are increasingly turning to sustainability as a key value when shopping – and renters are no different. Add to this the fact that, in essence, tenants are your main generators of waste, and not involving them in the waste management process is a recipe for disaster.

This means involving tenants and other stakeholders in your plans to streamline waste management in your buildings, providing information on the changes you make while presenting a plan for the future. You might be surprised at how passionate your tenants can be about trash – after all, they’re the ones who have to live with smelly trash cans or piles of trash in an alley behind the building!

The involvement of stakeholders also allows them to participate in the waste management process, not only by relieving you of certain responsibilities, but also allowing them to contribute to the improvement of living conditions and to work for a way of life. more sustainable. This could mean grassroots actions to reduce waste generation in their homes, increased recycling rates, or even fundraising campaigns to give back valuable materials, products or resources to the local community rather than sending them. to the landfill!


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