Apartment and HOA communities are experiencing trash issues now more than ever. The pandemic brought higher trash levels from food delivery, online purchases, and WFH (work-from-home) days. But even before this global event, keeping trash managed was increasingly difficult with recycling and organic waste management, overflowing bins, cluttered trash enclosures, large items, and high trash costs. It’s a lot to manage.

Don’t fear. We’ve got some tips to help you handle the most common (old and new) trash problems.


Wrong Trash Service – Sometimes, communities do not realize that their current trash service does not actually fit their unique trash needs. Insufficient service can cause problems by increasing trash volume, while excessive service becomes an issue of high costs.

Weak Recycle & Organic Waste Programs – Implementing recycling and organic waste programs can be tricky, especially as regulations continue to evolve. But, not having a recycle and organic waste program can cause problems, such as fees and higher volumes of trash.

Poor Handling of Large Items – When residents redecorate or move out, it is common to have large items, such as mattresses, furniture and appliances, at the trash rooms or enclosures. And with more online shopping, large boxes pile up too. But unless there is a consistent plan to remove these large items, they will quickly start to take up space and add clutter.

Illegal Dumping & Bin Misuse – Contractor or nonresident dumping in the bins can cause major problems for a community. Green waste from community landscaping can take 10–30% of your trash space. Construction and remodeling waste takes up even more space and often needs to be disposed of properly. Even residents may contribute to bin misuse if they do not realize that hazardous materials must be specially discarded or recycled.

Seasonal Changes – High temperatures in the summer exacerbate strong smells and harden sticky substances. Holidays bring shopping sales and time off. More days at home equal more trash.


Balance Trash service – Determining the right amount of trash service requires calculating the amount of trash your community produces and the amount of trash space needed for the trash. Then, compare your community’s needs to the current trash services (i.e., pick-ups per week, number of bins, size of bins). These calculations can be done through a waste assessment.

Implement Recycle & Organic Waste Programs – Become educated on the most current laws and regulations regarding recycle and organic waste management. The most recent law, Senate Bill 1383, aims at reducing disposal of organic waste in landfills. Each city is responsible for enforcing regulations, and each trash hauler provides different solutions for your community to be compliant. Be sure to place recycle and organic waste bins in convenient locations, and consider posting flyers at the trash enclosures to remind your residents to place items in the proper bins.

Consistently Dispose of Large Items – Whether it is done by your team, the trash hauler, or a third-party vendor, have large items removed consistently and disposed of properly. However, large item removal costs can get pricey if you use your trash hauler. You may want to consider hiring a trash management service provider to help with special services like this.

Prohibit Illegal Dumping & Communicate with Residents – Talk with your contractors and landscapers to ensure that remodeling material and green waste is being disposed of properly and is not taking up valuable space in your bins.

Plan for Seasonal Changes – Consider pressure washing the trash enclosures or trash rooms in the summer months to reduce scents and improve stains. Prepare your maintenance team for higher trash volumes or temporarily increase trash pick-ups around holidays. But remember, trash haulers and landfills are often closed on national holidays.

For more information on how you can solve apartment and HOA community trash problems, you can Request a Free Assessment or contact us at Services@WasteOptimize.com.



Share this post!

Have another question?

Ask Broomer