Most people don’t think much about their garbage after they toss it down the chute or into a container for pickup, but the fact is, removing a multifamily community's trash and recyclables can be a big job, especially in a private development not served by municipal or city-run sanitation services. Who picks up the refuse? How frequently it is collected? What gets recycled? These are all concerns that many multifamily residents should consider as factors in both their bottom line and in their community's core services.
Public or Private?
Imagine living in a community where the trash wasn’t hauled away for a few weeks, and you get a pungent sense of how important carting services are to urban and suburban living. While selecting a dependable waste hauling company is vital to good co-op/condo management, that doesn't mean hiring such an outside contractor can't be negotiated in the best interests of the community. And as owners of the community, residents hold the cards in negotiating with service companies who want to do business with them. But the trick is in knowing how to play those cards.
Understanding what a community expects of its waste hauling company versus what the hauler can provide are good starting points for residents to consider when delving into the waste management process. Only after evaluating the community’s needs—as well as other factors, such as budget—can residents determine which waste disposal solutions best fit them.
The difference between private waste management companies and public municipal sanitation services is often first defined by local law. Residents of New York’s five boroughs pay a city tax that covers garbage pickup and sometimes, city officials insist a building must receive such services. Not always—some buildings, especially commercial buildings, are required by law to have private carters handle the task.
Still, communities often have other reasons to hire a carter. Even in those communities that receive the city’s waste removal service, garbage that quickly accumulates from move-outs, renovations, evictions and other trash-generating instances often is handled by private carters. Geography can play a role in choice, too. In some of the suburbs, city garbage trucks won’t service communities that are located along nonpublic streets. So, private companies do the work.