For important information about Organic Waste Recycling start dates and green bin information/presentations:  Read more in “Homes Serviced by the City”


San Diego

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How to Set Up an Apartment/Condominium Recycling Program

Implementing a recycling program at your apartment or condo complex is easy! Just follow PDF icon these steps:

  1. Establish your recycling potential

    • Find out how much trash is being collected at the complex. How many dumpsters of what size do you have? How often do they get collected?
    • Estimate the waste disposal cost savings when your complex starts to recycle.
    • Evaluate space options for recycling containers.

Photo of Recycling Bins

  1. Design a user-friendly recycling program

    • Choose waste haulers based on their responsiveness. Start with the complex's current hauler or if your contract is expiring and/or your current hauler can't provide you with recycling services contact a City approved PDF icon Franchise Hauler.
    • Select recycling bins and place them in areas that will minimize misuse or contamination. Always place recycling containers as close as possible to trash containers.
    • Residents can empty bins from inside their units into larger bins in common areas like laundry rooms or trash rooms.
    • To assist in your search for containers, here is a small PDF icon list of vendors of indoor and outdoor recycling containers. Please note that this list is not comprehensive and that the City of San Diego does not endorse the listed businesses.
    • Clearly identify recycling areas with large signs that include pictures of what can and can't be recycled. Contact your waste hauler for signs.
    • Develop a collection plan. How many recycling dumpsters will you need? Can you replace some of your trash dumpsters with recycling dumpsters?
  2. Educate tenants andstaff and promote the program

    • Place information on bulletin boards and in newsletters.
    • Send a mailer or email with reminders and tips about how to recycle right at the property.
    • Have a recycling training session at a building meeting.
    • Review the recycling rules and show where the recycling and trash containers are located at the property during the move-in orientation and property walkthrough.
    • Remind residents how to properly recycle or dispose of items when they move-out.
    • Evaluate the program often. Check for contamination to determine if more education is needed.
    • Provide updates on the program in complex newsletters and bulletin boards, so residents will know that their efforts are making a difference.
    • Apply for recognition for your complex's recycling efforts through the Environmental Services Department's Annual Business Recycling Award.
    • Education Toolkit for free signs and education resources for your property and tenants

Remember, the more materials you recycle, the lower your trash collection costs.

For free technical assistance to help set up your recycling program, please call the Environmental Services Department at 858-694-7000 or email