Commingled Trash and Recyclables

So the building's finished, you're putting together all of the documentation, and you notice that somebody forgot to include an area for storing and collecting recyclables! A classic "oh s#&*" moment... This is a pretty serious problem, as since this space is part of a prerequisite, all of your hopes for LEED certification are shot, right?
Mixed waste recycling to the rescue!!!

Way to go WM!

Lucky for you, there are companies out there that will take everything in a waste bin, from food to paper to aluminum and glass. They then separate it off-site, and recycle everything they can. More importantly, a CIR dated 12/15/06 has indicated that this practice is acceptable. The ultimate result is that you can achieve this credit without incorporating a storage and collection facility on-site. Though it doesn't expressly say so in the CIR, I would imagine you should provide some sort of documentation that this service is being used.
There's good reason for this acceptance, as the system is fool proof... No need to separate bins, have someone come pick up the recyclables, etc. You just throw everything away and the magic machines take care of the rest. Not to say there aren't any problems with the system, but basic concept is sound. Of course, you could always just build a shed outside, but where's the fun in that.


mshaener said...

EnviroSolutions, Inc,, operating in the Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Virginia and DC) has developed turn-key programs for occupant waste and construction waste that allows for the commingling of all waste that is later sorted offsite. The company provides all LEED required documentation and will train all personnel to operate under such a system. The best part is that the training is minimal, just place all of your waste in one container. As programs like these develop, being Green becomes easier and more cost effective at the same time. Visit or call 301-499-3900.

joelmckellar said...

Silly of me not to point out that Plyler Paper Stock Co. offers similar services in at least the Charlotte, NC area. Not sure if they have a larger reach than that.

Sally said...

Italics and swear words... Joel, you're my favorite LEED specialist!

bobbytuba said...

Today the Chicago Sun Times reported that our city is giving up on blue bags and switching to blue carts. That is very nice for single family home residents. They get a free blue cart and free weekly pickup.

But what about us who live in high rises? Or any multi-family residences over 6 units?

We are required by law to recycle various items at our own expense.
Our condo association has private scavenger pickup and containers for the recyclables. We have special containers on each floor and everyday the employees pick up the recyclables from all 40 floors.
The garbage trash goes down a chute.

All this costs money. Are you saying we should stop doing this and co-mingle?

Unknown said...

On LEED CS Sites for Warehouse, we just increase the dumpster pad enclosure and claim that as our recycling area. Since tenants are not identified yet, this gives them a lot of flexibilty as to using a co-mingled system or a divided dumpster. Either way the tenant pays for that set up not the owner in the core and shell process.