How To Get There > Universal Recycling: San Antonio, Texas, USA

Universal Recycling: San Antonio, Texas, USA

San Antonio, Texas

All multi-family property owners or managers must provide recycling collection services for residents.

Action(s) Taken

  • Recycling Policies

Population

1,400,000

Summary

All multi-family property owners or managers must provide recycling collection services for residents. The policy is part of the city’s commitment to ensure all residents have convenient access to recycling.

Overview of Recycling Requirements

Multi-family property owners or managers must provide recycling collection services for residents and must submit a recycling plan to the city for approval. Recycling service must be as convenient as trash service and offer “equal access opportunity” for residents to recycle. There are no requirements on what materials should be recycled or in what quantity. The ordinance applies to all units of three residences or more.

Small multi-family units (MFUs)–between three and eight units–may utilize the city’s curbside recycling services but larger units must contract with private haulers. The city also permitted MFUs to reduce the number of required parking spaces to make room for recycling containers.

Accepted recyclable materials include but are not limited to: newspaper, mixed office paper, corrugated cardboard, kraft paper, aluminum and tin cans, magazines, steel aerosol cans, glass bottles and containers, and #1-7 plastic bottles and containers.

Background

The city embarked on a multi-stage plan to roll out recycling to multi-family properties. Education and technical assistance began with the largest properties and moved down to smaller units over nine months. The policy is part of the city’s commitment to ensure all residents have convenient access to recycling as part of San Antonio’s 2020 Recycling and Resource Recovery Plan. The city planned to apply the same strategy to commercial properties after the MFU rollout is complete.

Implementation and Education

The city provides technical assistance for developing a recycling plan, approves recycling plans, and can make periodic site inspections to ensure compliance. Promotional materials (i.e. posters, introductory letters and signage) are provided to property managers or owners to educate residents about the program.

At the start of recycling services, when a new tenant moves in or when the program changes, education must be provided to residents on the types of recyclables accepted and the location of the recycling containers. MFUs can also include information about recycling in residents’ leases. Signage must be clear, specify that the container is only for recyclable materials and specify the types of materials accepted.

Enforcement

Each day of noncompliance violations may result in up to a $2,000 fine for property owners.

Recycling collectors or haulers are required to register with the city and must drop off all recyclable materials to a recycling processing facility. Recycling collectors must also submit an annual report including the number of residential units served, the number of tons of recyclable material collected, and contact information for recycling facilities.

Downloads

Multi-Family Unit Ordinance in San Antonio

Multi-Family Unit Guidebook for San Antonio

Recycling Poster for San Antonio

More Information

Multi-Family Recycling in San Antonio

My SA article: “City Set to Add Recycling at Apartments”

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