Apartment Recycling

Hill Place apartment complex residents have access to a recycling container, which is called a battleship, in an auxiliary lot in the complex. The container is divided up into six slots that correspond to the different types of recyclable material.

Because students have many ways to recycle, some students think it is irresponsible to not use these resources to reduce their environmental impact.

Sophomore Caroline Gschwend, who lives in The Cardinal at West Central, an apartment complex on Duncan Avenue, is only able to recycle cardboard boxes and aluminum cans in a small bin available in the trash room of every floor, but she wishes she could recycle more, she said.

“I (recycle) when it’s possible,” Gschwend said. “They require everything to be clean and all the tape to be removed from boxes.”

Junior Carter Hanson, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, lives at Hill Place but chooses not to use their recycling resources because he thinks carrying his recycling to a different part of the complex about a tenth of a mile away is inconvenient, he said.

Hanson and his roommates recycle about once a month. He saves his paper, brings it home to Rogers and recycles it, he said.

Americans recycled or composted 35% of their waste in 2015. Almost 131 million tons ended up in landfills. Compared to previous years, recycling is on an upward trend, according to reports from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The city’s diversion rate, or portion of waste recycled, in 2017 was 19%, according to a waste diversion update that year.

At the UofA, almost three-fourths of all students live in off-campus residences, according to a report from U.S. News and World Report. Many apartment complexes in the area surrounding the UofA cater particularly to students, but not all locations offer their residents on-site recycling.

UA administrators encourage recycling on campus to reach their goal of a zero-waste campus. In 2013, the UofA had a diversion rate of 35%, according to a letter from Ron Edwards, the former director of facility operations and maintenance.

Fayetteville apartment tenants who do not have immediate access to recycling might use other resources such as drop-off centers. Fayetteville has two designated drop-off centers: one on South Happy Hollow Road and another on North Street at the Marion Orton Recycling Center.

Worsening the problem, some people use recycling bins incorrectly, and they fill them with waste that cannot be recycled, said Stephen Robbins, a route supervisor for Fayetteville’s Recycling and Trash Collection Division.

Fayetteville offers recycling containers called battleships in parking lots and open spaces that cars can pull up to, with different slots for different materials, Robbins said. Apartment complexes often use these containers, and Robbins thinks the price is not too steep, he said.

People who live in the Champion’s Club apartment complex, located on Razorback Road, do not have access to on-site recycling because of the service’s cost, said Courtney King, property manager of Champion’s Club.

“We have looked into it in the past, and through the city, it is a very large cost,” King said.

One 30-cubic-yard recycling container costs $1 for every apartment unit in a complex. This cost includes the setup and collection of the waste in the container, said Andrew Cook, a commercial representative for Fayetteville’s Recycling and Trash Collection Division.

Beginning April 22, Fayetteville will provide free recycling bins to apartments as long as the complex purchases a collection unit, Cook said.

Varsity House apartment complex residents do not have access to an on-site recycling resources. Management officials are in the process of getting a recycling drop-off unit for the apartments, said Emily Young, a leasing manager at Varsity House.

“It had been something that was on our minds for quite a while, and we started doing resident polls a few months ago,” Young said. “Residents were overwhelmingly interested.”

People who live in apartments at the Vue on Stadium Drive do not have an on-site recycling drop off because of the space the container requires, said Grier Blaylock, assistant property manager at the Vue.

“At this moment, we don’t have a good location for (the container),” Blaylock said. “We don’t want to jeopardize any resident parking spaces to accommodate it.”

The Vue’s management is looking into alternate recycling resources to provide its tenants, Blaylock said, but they do not have anything specific planned.

Management officials from the Cardinal apartment complex and Atmosphere apartment complex declined to comment on the recycling resources they offer.

Sophomore Josh Buercklin, who is majoring in poultry science, lives in a Hawg Rent apartment complex on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. This apartment complex does not offer on-site recycling drop-off to its tenants, so the only way people who live there can recycle is to go to one of the public drop-off locations around Fayetteville.

Buercklin and his roommate only use the drop-off locations, which is located less than three miles from the apartment complex, once per semester. Other than this, Buercklin thinks recycling is not easily accessible to him, so he and his roommate do not do it often, he said.

“A couple of times, we have saved up all of our recyclables, and my roommate takes it to the drop-off,” Buercklin said.


Andrew Elkins is the associate news editor of the Arkansas Traveler. He worked as a reporter and photographer from 2018-2019.

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