- According to Seattle Public Utilities, 30 apartment buildings out of 8,000 don't have access to the municipal recycling program.
- Some buildings received exemptions when the city's recycling program began in 2009 due to a lack of space for separate dumpsters.
- The city is willing to work with residents in these buildings to provide alternative solutions for recycling such as scheduled curbside pick-ups.
Recycling regulations for multi-unit buildings vary from city to city and exemptions are common. Storing large quantities of recyclables between pick-ups in buildings can be difficult if adequate space isn't available. Pneumatic tubes are seen as a good solution, but they're expensive to install in existing buildings.
Until last year, the 400,000 residents in New York City Housing Authority buildings didn't have regular access to recycling. The National Resources Defense Council estimated that 1,000 tons of recyclables from these units were being landfilled annually and threatened to sue the city. The Department of Sanitation has promised to install recycling bins in all 334 housing developments by the end of the year.