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Apartments near UNT inconsistent about recycling

Apartments near UNT inconsistent about recycling

Apartments near UNT inconsistent about recycling
March 07
01:45 2014

Morgan Gentry // Intern Writer

Recycling has been a critical factor in keeping UNT clean and green. With recycling options available in resident halls, around campus and in the new Union set to open in 2015, it would seem likely to extend the benefits to the students living off-campus.

However, the “mean green” motto has not carried on to many of the student apartment complexes scattered around UNT. Only a few provide their residents with recycling options and help the sustainability of the city.

“I would suggest [recycling] to be everywhere,” hospitality management senior Kelsey Burrus said. “Because UNT is trying to be a green school, I feel like it’s important that the complexes around Denton should appreciate that and try to help in that same vein. If you’re going to be green on campus, why not be green at your apartment too?”

Recycling a mixed bag at apartments

Burrus, part of the leasing staff at the new apartment complex 14 Fifty-One, said the property provides both a recycling and waste compactor on site. The residents get a number upon move-in that allows them to use the two compactors whenever they need to.

While 14 Fifty-One provides recycling, others like The Forum at Denton Station have found ways to still stay green without the big expenses.

The Forum doesn’t have a compactor on site, but they provide recycling bags for their residents to separate their trash.

The Gateway at Denton apartment complex had recycling dumpsters at one point, but removed them after residents used them as a waste dumpsters during moving seasons.

The city of Denton strives to provide recycling on every premises, whether those are apartments or businesses. However, related ordinances about keeping dumpsters secured and other factors that must be met made it a rather long and complicated process for complexes to place recycling dumpsters and compactors on site.

Denton recycling manager Shirlene Sitton said the recycling department has spent the past two years putting forth effort to get recycling options in more apartment complexes.

“There are many factors, but the city is not prohibiting it in anyway. We are really trying to get people to do it,” Sitton said. “At the end of the day, it’s up to the apartment managers and sometimes they want it, but some of those other factors come into play.”

Factors include: making sure there is space for the compactors or dumpsters, along with space for the pick-up trucks to transport the waste; following the Denton Development code when pertaining to gated screening or enclosing of the dumpster; turn over and population of the residents; and educating residents on proper use.

Denton officials have made it a point to join the pre-construction process of new apartments and businesses around town. They make sure to identify places to build on the lot where enough room for dumpsters and compactors will exist.

“We want them to recycle,” Sitton said. “We have people who help train apartment managers and business owners to recycle properly, making sure that those programs are functioning right and providing whatever resources are needed.”

Complexes like Midtown, Uptown and the Venue also provide their residents with on-site recycling bins. However, The Republic at Denton, Campus Park, Crash Pads, 33 Degrees North, Iconic Village, The Quarter Apartments and others scattered around the campus don’t provide recycling options.

The city of Denton offers recycling drop-offs for those who don’t have the convenience of on-site options. Four places are located at North Lakes Park, Shady Oaks, Cupboards Natural Foods and Café and the city of Denton landfill.

An alternative recycling option

University Courtyards is working with a new waste pick-up company, HD Waste Valet. Though there are no compactors or dumpsters on the property, Courtyards is saving money and granting two business owners an opportunity to expand.

Created by former Courtyard residents, Justin Drummond and Steven Haye, the service originated when the two felt there needed to be a change in the way trash was collected at the complex.

“We noticed there was a lot of trash around the apartment,” Drummond said. “We came up with this business model that would give residents a chance to recycle and also [relieve] the over-crowded dumpsters.”

Drummond said he and Haye work maintenance and constantly struggle with overflowing dumpsters, so it was mutually beneficial for the apartment complex and the resident.

The two owners are working on expanding to other college apartments in the future. Residents can sign up through the website to get their recycling and trash picked up twice a week. The prices range from $10 to $24 a month, depending on the number of bedrooms in the apartment.

“A lot of people disregard it because it’s really just a pain for them to go out of their way to do that,” Drummond said. “But now we want to offer a service that allows them to achieve that, at a competitive price, because it’s focused on college students and we’re all broke.”

Feature photo: A glimpse into the recycling dumpster at Midtown Apartments on Tuesday afternoon shows the student’s healthy appetite for saving the Earth. Midtown Apartments is one of the few apartment complexes in Denton to offer recycling services. Photo by Kristen Watson / Staff Photographer  

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