The Recyclists How Managers Can Help Communities Go Green

When it comes to how co-op and condo communities navigate the race to address climate change, a goal like switching to 100 percent renewable energy may seem too tall an order. On the other hand, recycling household glass, paper, and plastic products seems relatively easy. Even so, getting residents to actually sort their trash for collection can feel like an uphill battle for boards and managers. 

In a condo or homeowners’ association, a gentle push in the right direction can sometimes come from a property manager who’s particularly committed to reducing his or her client communities’ environmental impact. The Chicagoland Cooperator spoke with a handful of managers in various markets who have encouraged or facilitated an array of eco-friendly programs in their associations to help spread the message of recycling.

The Green Apple

Victor Berrios formerly managed a 620-unit co-op in the Bronx, New York, and turned a building that once met the idea of recycling with a collective shrug into a lean, mean, green-conscious machine.

CC: What was the situation at the property like when you originally took the reins?

VB: Come recycling day, I’d see a porter put out a single bag of bottles and cans on the curb. We put out more than that at my house, and it’s just me, my wife, and two kids. So I reached out to a not-for-profit called GrowNYC that assists with recycling efforts, and promotes and teaches conservation. We held classes for building staff, and during open shareholder meetings. For the latter, we’d have giveaways to encourage participation. You have to incentivize these things.”

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