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Managing and Transforming Waste Streams – A Tool for Communities

Contracting Best Practices: Equal Services for Multi-Family Customers

Many communities do not adequately support waste reduction, recycling and composting for multi-family residences such as apartments, condominiums, and group homes. Contracts can require service providers to provide multi-family customers reuse, recycling and composting services at least equal to the services provided to single-family residents. Alternatively, a minimum volume per dwelling unit can be prescribed for each service to ensure adequate capacity in shared service environments.


  • Increased diversion and equity: Providing equal services ensures a minimum level of recycling services are provided for both multi-family and single-family residents.
  • Consistent education and outreach: Providing the same services to single family and multi-family customers supports simple community-wide outreach.


  • Collection system barriers: In many communities multi-family buildings are considered commercial accounts. Multi-family residents with over four units are often serviced by different collection vehicles that service businesses.
  • Low Diversion: Most multi-family recycling and composting programs have lower diversion rates and higher contamination rates than single-family programs.