- Orlando's Solid Waste Division has been discussing a potential recycling requirement for owners of multi-unit residential and commercial buildings. Recycling isn't currently required so many buildings weren't designed to accommodate it, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.
- The plan could potentially be phased in over four years. The first phase would apply to new buildings that receive construction permits within six months of the policy enactment. The second phase would require large residential and commercial buildings to begin recycling in a year. Medium-sized buildings would have to begin recycling within two years, and remaining buildings would have to start in four years.
- The idea was discussed during a recent city planning session and will go before Orlando's planning board in June. The earliest the city council might vote on final approval would be August.
Orlando has set a goal of achieving 50% diversion by 2018 and "zero waste" by 2040, with a 2010 baseline of 27%. In order to get there, the city plans to focus on commercial recycling, encourage backyard composting and invert the current residential collection schedule to pick up recyclables more frequently than refuse.
Based on similar efforts in other cities, these changes could help, but a diversion mandate for large buildings would go even further. Both Toronto and Chicago have recently turned their attention to multi-unit buildings with ongoing complaints from some property owners, and other cities are facing pressure to do the same. Denver, Detroit and Phoenix are among some of the cities that still don't require property owners from varying categories to recycle.
Proponents of expanding this requirement say that in addition to capturing more material, it can also help reinforce recycling behavior among residents. Having the ability to recycle both at home and at work is a growing priority, particularly for younger people. Finding space in existing buildings to fit recycling bins or other collection systems may be challenging, though developers of new buildings may find inspiration for different collection systems from nearby Disney World.