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Multi-family recycling for residents

We heard you! Ninety-three per cent of multi-family residents said they support a city-wide recycling strategy.

As of Feb. 1, 2016 multi-family complexes like apartments and condos are required to provide on-site recycling for residents. It is up to your complex's owner or manager to set up a recycling program.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution for multi-family recycling. Buildings need flexibility and choice, which the private-sector is best able to deliver. Recycling companies will provide collection and processing. The City will not collect recycling, but will provide communication, education and monitor compliance.

This means your building owner or manager has an obligation to:

  • Offer recycling storage at your complex in addition to garbage storage
  • Make sure there are enough containers to hold all the recycling at your complex
  • Accept at least the same materials as blue carts:
  • Paper: Newspaper, catalogues and magazines, mixed paper (like flyers, envelopes and office paper), shredded paper, telephone books
  • Boxboard and corrugated cardboard
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Food cans and foil
  • Refundable beverage containers
  • Plastic containers with the recycling symbols 1-7, except polystyrene foam
  • Plastic bags
  • Juice boxes and soup boxes (such as TetraPaksTM)
  • Arrange to have the materials removed for recycling

My building still doesn't have recycling. What can I do?

If your building does not have recycling, you can get in touch with The City by filling out the online request below or contacting 311. The City will inform the building owner or manager of their responsibility to provide onsite recycling and follow up as required

Multi-family Inquiry

How much does this cost?

There is a cost to collect and process recyclables, which will vary between recycling companies and types of complexes. Your building owner or manager will be responsible for choosing the recycling method and negotiating contracts.

Your building owner or manager may take the recycling to a Community Recycling Depot, but this must be coordinated for the entire complex. Community Recycling Depots are currently available to residents but the number of depots may be reduced depending on changes in use.

How does recycling work in my building?

Recycling programs will vary depending on the amount of space you have for storage and who is collecting materials. Some private recyclers let you mix all the materials in one bin, and some ask residents to sort their recycling into separate bins.

If you have questions, ask your building's owner or manager for details about how your recycling program works.

Why isn't multi-family recycling funded through property taxes?

Recycling collection in Calgary is not tax-supported for either single or multi-family homes. Blue Cart recycling is funded entirely through user fees, and recycling programs set up by multi-family complexes will be funded by the fees paid to service providers.

The City of Calgary will not set or collect multi-family recycling fees, and taxes will not be raised to pay for the program.

What is the plan for food and yard waste?

The City is developming a bylaw that will require multi-family buildings to divert food and yard waste from landfills through composting and/or other means. This bylaw will be brought to Council in October 2016 for approval.

Will anyone be exempt?

No. The bylaw amendment applies to all multi-family complexes, and all residents are expected to participate.