A 2018 law that requires landlords to make trash recycling available for tenants of apartments with eight units or more took effect Wednesday.
More than half of Dallas residents live in rental apartments, so the law affects most of the population and a large volume of Dallas trash.
Kevin Richardson with the Texas Campaign for the Environment said he is concerned that the law his group helped pass will not be enforced.
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“The new apartment recycling rule is a major step toward universal recycling in the city of Dallas, however, we want to make sure residents know who to contact if their apartment complex is not providing a recycling program in compliance with the law,” Richardson said.
Tenants can call 311 or use the Dallas 311 app to file a complaint for enforcement.
Dallas adopted a goal of “Zero Waste” in 2013 to reduce the cost of dumping trash in a landfill and improve the environment.
“In order to achieve Zero Waste, we have to have good recycling policies and we have to have good production policies so we don’t produce things that are designed to become waste,” said Richardson.
For years, Dallas recycling has been available for residents of single-family homes and many apartment complexes offered it voluntarily.
As of January 1, landlords are required to provide a recycling program and inform tenants about it.
“They’ve never talked to me about it, never,” said Jesus Mendez, a Northwest Dallas apartment tenant. “It would be good for everybody, yea, for the environment.”
Richardson said large commercial buildings and businesses are another large source of recyclable waste but the City of Dallas has not adopted rules for commercial property recycling.
Most other large Texas cities adopted apartment recycling years ago. Fort Worth did so in 2014.