Multifamily Zero Waste Concierge

So get this: thanks to our commercial composting farm and our super-nerdy interest in sustainability, we offer — for the first time in Omaha's history — a service that enables multifamily tenants to live a zero waste lifestyle! 

We do this by offering a door-to-door pickup program that includes the collection of landfill, recycling, EnergyBag, and compostable materials. Tenants no longer have to leave their home to interact with yucky salmonella-encrusted dumpsters, property managers no longer have to deal with Larry illegally dumping his ex-girlfriend's couch, and everyone wins because we're treating our waste responsibly.   

"Wait, what!?? Tell me more!" ... 


Well let's back up for a second to look at what the current problem is ... 

By a large margin, waste removal is the lowest priced utility, yet we end up paying a high price through the global impact that our current waste management system is creating. Meanwhile in Omaha, the city's residential recycling program doesn't include multifamily housing, leaving a sizable portion of our population without a streamlined solution. 

Some property companies offer recycling services, but as human psychology dictates, if it's not as easy to recycle as it is to throw away trash, then much of the time it all goes in the trash. And on top of that, dumpsters bring illegal dumping, blowing trash, spotting from leaky bags in the hallways, and tenants who have to put up with Omaha's extreme weather.

Meanwhile, a National Multifamily Housing Council study reported that 80% of potential tenants want recycling. Nebraska Recycling Council says that, “More than 85% of US households expect recycling as a municipal service, and they want a larger variety of materials collected.” And Nielsen’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report says that 73% of millennials are willing to spend more with sustainable companies.

Here's what that means: Recycling and sustainable practices are a growing trend, so why aren't more property managers and tenants participating in sustainable processes? 

That's because it’s not easy enough. But we've found a way to change that. 


Here's how we're fixing it ... 

As the Omaha area's first zero waste hauling provider, we've created a system that not only includes recycling for tenants, but also gives multifamily housing communities the ability to live a zero waste lifestyle. Here's how: 

  • First we ditch the dumpsters and go door-to-door! — Rather than relying on people to walk their waste to landfill or recycling dumpsters on snowy winter days, our service provides a door-to-door pickup plan. This allows your community to condense the amount of dumpsters (yay parking & litter clean-up!) and lock the dumpsters (Sorry, Larry. You'll have to find another dumpster).

  • Then we go zero waste! — Alongside the traditional waste removal of landfill and recycling materials, we also provide EnergyBag pickup (which turns flimsy/soft plastics & styrofoam into diesel fuel) and compostable pickup (which turns methane-producing trash into nutrient dense soil that goes into gardens), and glass recycling (which counts us as the only Omaha-area hauler to do so).

  • Lastly let's make it simple as possible! — Instead of having to walk landfill waste to one area and recycling to another (or have tenants unknowingly mix-and-match), all they have to do is separate at the source and place outside their door. Our hallway runners collect in leak-proof bags and provide accountability through a feedback system to let them know if they need to make improvements.


Here’s a simplified description of how the pickup cycle works … 

  1. Residents place landfill items in a black or opaque plastic bag; recycling in clear plastic bag; EnergyBag's in Hefty orange bags; and compostable items in a compostable bag. 

  2. Before pickup service begins (8-11am M/W/F), residents place contents outside their door.

  3. Landfill and compostable bags are placed in a black 13-gallon lidded and leak-proof bin that Hillside provides. Recycling bag placed next to bin. Cardboard is folded and stacked, then placed vertically between bin and wall.

  4. Hillside haulers collect contents in leak-proof satchel bags and residents bring in bin at earliest convenience.


A quick list of the many benefits … 

  • Accountability: If a tenant needs some instruction, a post-it note system helps increase recycling rates & the hallways in order. 

  • Single Stream Recycling: Our pre-screening system allows us to maintain a single stream recycling process. Wha-bam! 

  • Large Object Removal: With an appointment, burly dudes will haul your stuff away.

  • Dog Waste: We provide dog waste stations and weekly cleaning of your dog's smelly doo-doo.

  • Handicap Friendly: With a consent form, we can remove bins directly from unit.

  • Greener Property: Removing dumpsters clears up litter, erases smelly infrastructure, and stops illegal dumping.

  • Cleaner Hallways: No more leaky bags.

  • More Parking: With the amount of dumpsters condenses and locked, you now have more room for parking. Say what!?

  • Zero Waste Lifestyle: Tenants now have the option to live a zero waste lifestyle (go ahead, Google "zero waste").

  • Convenience: Good riddance to touching those nasty nacho cheese covered dumpsters & dredging through the snow!

  • The Earth Says I Love You: Yep.


 What about bins sitting out all day? 

Residents don’t see trash sitting out, since the bags are placed in lidded bins. Overages don’t occur since we pick up so often. Odors don’t accumulate because contents are never more than 1-2 days old.  

On the other hand, dumpsters lead to overage charges, trash blowing around the property, odors from less frequent pick-ups, and illegal dumping. Some residents put off taking out their trash to dumpsters, letting bags build up in their unit. When they deliver bags to the dumpster, leaks, damage, and spills eventually occur. 

What if a tenant leaves town?  

Before leaving town, traveling tenants place bags in “Emergency Cart,” which can also be used for special circumstances like social gatherings that create excess waste or when a tenant needs to discard of a particularly strong smelling item.

What if we already have a hauler? 

No problem! We’ll pay your bill as we transition into the new system. 

Will the bins in the hall scare away potential tenants? 

Your concierge service should be framed as a point of pride. We’ll provide you with the verbiage to make it a selling point for convenience and sustainability. 

It’s a big selling point for our tenants. I also live in the building, so I know that as a mother of small children, it’s saves me so much headache and time in the morning. It’s been a real life-saver.
— - Property Manger Alexa Smith of 3700 Dewey, Milestone Property