There is a heap of better ideas on the way in the recycling and waste management space regarding efficiencies for trash pick-up at apartment communities.
During these unprecedented times of “work from home, stay at home,” many are passing time by reorganizing their “stuff,” which typically leads to higher volumes of possession tossing, much of which ends up in the wrong trash container and, ultimately, a landfill.
One provider offering solutions is CheckSammy Technologies, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based waste company that drops off bins or bags for renters, homeowners and apartment dwellers to dispose of unwanted items for collection.
CheckSammy cofounder Sam Scoten says his bins accept clothing, small electronics, linens, books, toys, sports equipment, kitchenware or any other reusable household item. His employees sort the bins and redirect the appropriate reusable materials to goodwill-based agencies and groups.
CheckSammy Technologies created a new Unlimited Bulk and Junk Removal Sustainability Program at a fixed price-per-door rate that apartment and condominium properties can utilize as a less expensive and more efficient method for disposing of bulk and reusable consumer goods. The sustainability program launched last year and is operating mostly on the West Coast, but has begun to spread nationwide.
The program is currently exclusive to multifamily communities and is operating in large metropolitan cities such as Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Dallas; and Vancouver. Inroads have been made in other communities in North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Washington, D.C., and more.
CheckSammy is designed to not just collect bulk items and reusable consumer goods, but to collect data on these disposal operations. Some benefits of the Unlimited program, according to the company, are:
- A fixed monthly budget for predictable operational costs
- Savings over on-demand bulk removal services
- Detailed quarterly sustainability reports
AWM Alliance Real Estate Group, Vancouver, manages a real estate portfolio valued at $12 billion with more than 27,000 commercial, residential and strata suites. The company, which has been in operation since 1997, began using CheckSammy last year. The system has significantly helped the company’s recycling and waste hauling execution and expenses, says AWM Director of Project Services Jonathon Williams.
“This area is definitely in a recycling frenzy,” Williams says. “It’s out of control. You have to separate everything. There are 10 bins at a community [center] based on paper, glass, plastic, cardboard, organic and everything in between. It’s all about the [local] regulations. It’s got the haulers through a loop. They are fined for violations. Trash pickup is expensive.”
In Vancouver, nearly anything can be recycled except clothing, toys and electronics. Building occupants with CheckSammy can place reusable items in the bin when they are selling, moving or just needing to declutter.
“This helps [housing occupants] take those recyclable things out of the stream and prevents them from going to landfills,” Williams says. “With people hunkering down, everyone is staying home and they are going through their stuff and throwing things out more than ever. The CheckSammy bins are overflowing. We have to have them picked up every two or three days.”
Williams’ properties are charged a flat rate, “unlike a lot [other] haulers where you never know what you are going to pay,” Williams says. “It could be $50 or $500 depending on what you are throwing away.”
For apartment operators, the key to making these disposal programs work, Williams says, is proper signage.
“It has to be dummy-proof,” he says.
By tracking the frequency of pick-up, apartment operators can more efficiently forecast their overall waste management budgets. By having these bulk, non-recyclable items out of their garbage stream, they can save on contamination fees and pick-ups.
The sensors in the bins enable for valuable real-time data collection, which is important when it comes to large companies that need that information for investors or to comply with benchmarking reporting with county, state or federal sustainability programs.
“Specializing in multifamily, I recognize my clients’ waste needs are increasing almost overnight,” Richard Bates, strategic business solutions of national accounts for Houston-based Waste Management, says. “Budget-friendly bulk hauling solutions are hard to find during good times, but in this environment where site teams are working remotely with limited staff, having a fixed budget unlimited bulk hauling solution is a real problem-solver.
“Pair that with a solution allowing residents to allocate items in the reuse market instead of the landfill is setting a new standard in the bulk hauling service industry. Add in the technology to allow for accurate sustainability reporting and you have my full and undivided attention.”