City of San Marcos, Texas Finds Success with Apartment Recycling Program

By February 24, 2012No Comments

Multi-family recycling is bringing San Marcos’ recycling totals to new heights.

One year ago, San Marcos City Council members passed a recycling ordinance giving residents of multi-family homes and apartment complexes the opportunity to recycle their reusable goods.

Katie Weatherby, education senior, recycles plastic bottles Feb. 5 in the recycling bins provided by her apartment complex, Hillside Ranch.

Councilmember Kim Porterfield, Place 1, said the city’s recycling in single-family homes has successfully reduced waste stream. Councilmembers received a number of requests from apartment residents who wanted to recycle.

Jo Secrest, City of San Marcos Public Services Coordinator, said the amount of recycled material has doubled with residents since single stream recycling started.

Porterfield said the city wanted to reduce the amount of waste entering landfills because the practice is expensive and harmful to the environment.

“I support the ordinance so people in apartments can recycle easily from home and reduce waste from landfills,” Porterfield said.  “Most housing in San Marcos is apartment complexes and every resident already pays for the recycling service.”

Although there has been a positive reaction from the city in regards to recycling, Porterfield said city council officials are looking into ways to increase the rates of recyclables from multi-family houses and apartment complexes.

“I believe the city has benefited (from the ordinance), but I am disappointed by the participation rates,” Porterfield said. “We received a report and the apartment complexes’ rate is not as high as the rate of single family homes. We need to work better with apartment management about how they can show tenets where they can recycle at their complex.”

Porterfield said she is hoping recycling rates will get higher with increased convenience and education.

Apartment officials around San Marcos have seen various levels of success in the recycling initiative over the past year.

“We have never had a time where the ordinance had not been in play since we opened in August of 2011, but the bins are always full,” said Jeremy Cullins, assistant manager at Aspen Heights. “We definitely benefit from it and use it.”

Porterfield said she has considered adding an education component to the curbside recycling ordinance, but does not foresee any changes being made.

“I would not favor the city not having the ordinance, but I would be in favor of increasing the education of recycling,” Porterfield said.


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