In order to understand the current state of recycling services in multi-family buildings (e.g. apartments and condominiums), Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), working in co-operation with the BC Apartment Owners & Managers Association, the BC Non Profit Housing Association and the Professional Association of Managing Agents, distributed surveys to approximately 2,500 owners and operators of multi-family buildings in January 2013 with 107 completed surveys returned.

The surveys revealed the following:

  • About half of the respondents indicated they selected the company that provides PPP collection services.  Where respondents did not select the company, they reported that their local government made the selection.
  • Where respondents selected the company, they reported that the most important considerations other than price were (in order of frequency of response from highest to lowest): quality of service, frequency of collection, range of materials collected and type of collection container provided.
  • Only one-quarter of the respondents reported providing a PPP storage container, such as an apartment size box or bag, to residents for use in their unit.  The majority of these respondents received service from their local government.  Services provided to respondents that did not provide a PPP storage container to residents were about evenly split between local governments and private companies.
  • About half of the respondents commingle all PPP into a single stream for collection while half separate printed papers from packaging.
  • About one-third of respondents separate cardboard from other types of packaging and printed paper and have a separate contract for this material.
  • About 20% of respondents have to move the building’s large storage containers of PPP manually from a storage area to a location that can be accessed by collection vehicles.
  • About 70% of respondents receive weekly collection, about 25% receive collection every two weeks and the remaining 5% are split between monthly collection and twice weekly collection.
  • The most common methods of educating residents about the packaging and printed paper recycling program are (in order of frequency of response from highest to lowest): labels on storage bins, allowing the local government to distribute information, building meetings, information provided to new residents, posters in the recycling storage area and periodic flyers.
  • The most effective methods to educate residents were reported as (in order of frequency of response from highest to lowest): face-to-face discussions, a notice delivered door-to-door, workshops or seminars and email.