All in the Family

Atlanta cracks down on mult-unit residential recycling.

The atlanta city council has passed legislation that will enforce stricter recycling regulations for owners and management of multi-family residential complexes. The legislation will require complexes, which consist of six or more living units, condominiums or townhomes, to provide residents with recycling containers to participate in the city's curbside recycling program. The containers are required to hold no less than three gallons of recyclables for each living unit in the development.

For years, Atlanta has required such developments to provide recycling containers for its residents. However, Dexter Chambers, director of communications for the city council, says they just weren't getting satisfactory participation from multi-unit developments. “With the growth of condos and other complexes throughout the city, many people wanted to recycle but didn't have the means to do so properly,” he says. The new requirements will take effect after July 1, 2008, and will be enforced by the city's Department of Public Works. Owners and management also will be required to submit an annual report that will detail the amount of recyclables collected each year, the frequency of collection, and the size and average number of containers located on the property.

“The annual reports are necessary to prove that the owners or associations are actually providing a place for recycling and having it picked up,” says Clair Muller, a city and district council member. She notes that the ordinance received the blessing of the Atlanta Apartment Association and the attorney that represents a majority of the condominium associations in the city. “With the increasing number of these developments, especially in the downtown area, providing these residents with the proper tools to recycle is crucial,” she says.