Multi-residential Recycling

A viable blue box recycling program in the multi-residential (MR) sector should be an integral component of an effective Blue Box Program Plan or Waste Management Strategy. For municipalities that have successful curbside programs, multi-residential recycling offers next least cost tonnes.

CIF has developed a series of practical, time-saving tools for the multi-residential sector to assist municipalities in meeting best practices in “optimization of operations in collections and processing.” Follow our 8-step program to shape-up your MR program.

1. Recommended Reading

Begin the process of reviewing and improving your MR program by becoming familiar with work that has been done in this sector. We recommend the 10-page section in KPMG Blue Box Program Enhancement and Best Practices Assessment Project, 2007, pages 96 to 106. You may also wish to review reports for CIF multi-res projects


2. Launch Your Project

CIF has developed project implementation guidelines to help you launch your project and implement best practices.  Once you’re ready, we’ll help walk you through the process and provide ‘hands-on’ assistance by meeting with your project team.   The guidelines were developed to assist municipalities that wish to implement MR best practices. However, CIF also welcomes other project ideas that have potential to increase recycling effectiveness and efficiency. For example, Project 178 Toronto Tower Renewal, and Project 328: Peel RFID Integration with On-board Weight Scales, both offer unique approaches to improving their MR programs.

Site visit forms

2-stream program (adapt for single stream) or 5-stream program


3. Manage your Data

Update and maintain a database of multi-residential building properties, by using CIF’s Microsoft Access database designed for this purpose. Database features include:

  • Contact information (property manager, superintendent, etc.)
  • Building information (units, floors, condo, etc.)
  • Recycling & garbage collection program information (number & type of containers, collection days, etc.)
  • Site plan details (collection points, loading areas, etc.)
  • JPG and other image files (site plan, photos, etc.)
  • Record communications with the property (email, letters, calls)
  • P&E and outreach activity log (last poster run, resident meetings, etc.)
  • Site inspection results (recycling performance indicators, contamination reports, etc.)

There are two version of the database below, depending whether you currently run Microsoft Access. Contact for database support or if you are interested in a database training session.

For users with Microsoft Access (does not work on Mac-based computers)

For users without Microsoft Access (does not work on Mac-based computers)


4. Build Capacity – Add Recycling Containers

Having enough recycling containers in your program is a critical element of recycling success. The best practices ratio recommends a minimum of 50 litres per unit: this is one 360 litre cart for every seven units, or one four-yard bin for every 60 units.

CIF has had an ongoing tender for the supply of 96-gallon carts at a reduced rate. A new tender will be developed soon.


5. Promote and Educatechanceencounter

CIF has developed an online promotion and education (P&E) tool kit of materials that municipalities can customize.


6. Training for MR Stakeholders

There is a limited amount of funding available for for municipalities to develop a MR workshop. Please contact Carrie Nash for more information.

Check out the Toolkit:


7. Report Back

Reporting on your project at ORW and with a final report is part of the CIF requirements of funding. CIF has developed a final report template and companion spreadsheets to
assist municipal staff and project consultants in this final phase of their projects.

Municipalities will find the template report will also help to guide project implementation. Staff involved in the project will find it helpful to familiarize themselves with the final report template, before they start the project, so that they are aware of the nature of data and reporting expected.

Report Template & Companion Spreadsheet


8. Design standards

CIF looks to the future when construction of all new multi-residential buildings will incorporate design features for maximum recycling. CIF Project 219: Best Practices for Building Code & Design Standards for Multi-residential Buildings is a three phase project that will encompass recommendations to 1) the Municipal Site Plan approval process, 2) the LEED Certification Process, and 3) the Ontario Building Code. These reports are recommended reading for municipal staff who are involved in the process of approving site plans and requests for waste management services. Municipalities should review their own processes for approving building developments and do what they can to ensure that maximum waste diversion is part of their approval process.

For more information, contact Carrie Nash.