California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Recycling in Multifamily Dwellings

A Model for Local Government Recycling and Waste Reduction

Recycling for residents of multifamily dwellings (MFD) poses a challenge for many communities. (For purposes of this study, an MFD is a building with more than four residential units.) MFD residents can generate a large amount of a community’s residential waste, and they often desire curbside recycling collection. Yet, these residents are frequently left out of community curbside recycling programs because:

  • Programs for individual households are not suited to MFDs.
  • Private waste haulers, not local government, typically provide waste management services to MFDs.

Many MFD buildings were not designed with recycling in mind. MFDs typically have little space in individual units and in common areas for the collection and storage of recyclables.

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Credits and Disclaimer

Kelly Lease of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance prepared this study pursuant to contract IWM-C8028 ($198,633, included other services) with the University of California at Santa Cruz for a series of 24 studies and summaries.

The statements and conclusions in this summary are those of the contractor and not necessarily those of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), its employees, or the State of California. In addition, the data in this report was provided by local sources but not independently verified. The State and its contractors make no warranty, express or implied, and assume no liability for the information contained in this text. Any mention of commercial products, companies, or processes shall not be construed as an endorsement of such products or processes.

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Last updated: June 21, 2002
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