When managing an Apartment or HOA it’s valuable to understand the different types of waste that your community produces. Understanding different types of waste will help you deal more effectively with vendors and stay in compliance with local, state and federal waste regulations.
Common Types of Waste
The most common types of waste generated by Apartment and HOA communities are:
- Solid waste makes up the bulk of a community’s trash volume. Solid waste is disposed of by residents in trash bins, picked up by trash haulers on their weekly schedule, and taken to landfills. Since solid waste ends up in landfills, the EPA and CalEPA are working to divert as much of this waste as possible into different recycling programs.
- Recyclable waste includes paper, glass, aluminum, and some plastics. Communities dispose of their recyclables in their trash bins or designated recycle bins respectively, depending on how your city processes recyclable materials to comply with Assembly Bill 341.
- Green waste is primarily grass clippings and tree trimmings. To comply with AB 1826, green waste can be handled in one of two ways: either the landscaper can take the waste with them, or the community must have designated green waste bins which are picked up by the hauler.
- Construction and remodeling waste is anything generated by third-party contractors due to construction or remodeling projects. This type of waste qualifies as solid waste, but is often too large or heavy to be put in regular trash bins. This waste should be removed by contractors to not burden the community.
- Large items, like remodeling waste, are a type of solid waste but are too large for regular trash bins. This category includes items such as mattresses and furniture that residents throw away. Haulers generally don’t pick up these items as part of their regular service. Large items typically require a separate pick up by the trash hauler or a third party.
- Electronic waste includes TVs, computers, printers, stereos, and any other large residential electronics. Haulers don’t typically pick these items up. Communities must hire an authorized e-waste handling service to remove the items or require residents to take them to a recycling center. E-waste handling is regulated by CalRecycle.
- Residential hazardous waste includes items such as paint and oil, residential chemicals (cleaning products and pesticides), batteries and fluorescent light bulbs. These items cannot legally be disposed of in regular trash bins. Like electronic waste, communities need to hire a third-party service or require residents to take them to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.