Multi-Family Property Management Spotlight


How Felson Companies Motivates Tenants to Sort Right

Felson Companies staff provides orientation about recycling and composting to new tenants

Hayward-based Felson Companies manages over 1,300 apartment units in Alameda County. A “no waste” attitude has been at the core of Felson Companies’ values ever since its founding in 1940. When setting up collection service for compostable materials (“organics”) became the law for multi-family properties in Hayward under the Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance in July 2015, Felson Companies was on board right away. Each of their Hayward residential communities added organics bins to the existing trash and recycling receptacles and devised an outreach strategy to help tenants participate in the program.

“Sure you need to have the containers in convenient locations and provide good signage to show tenants what goes where, but that alone won’t get folks to separate properly,” said Tami Santos, Community Manager at Felson Companies’ 146-unit Mission Heights Apartments.

Upon move-in, Santos gives each new tenant a one-on-one orientation about disposal rules at the community, along with a kitchen pail for food scraps, guide, and compostable bags to line the pail. They also walk the property, making a stop at the trash enclosures. “We are keeping these areas really neat and clean, so tenants like using them,” remarks Santos. When tenants come to the office to renew their lease, staff uses the opportunity to remind residents of the recycling and composting rules.

The efforts pay off: Combined, Felson Companies’ seven residential communities in Hayward collect some 94 cubic yards of food scraps and food soiled paper each month for composting. Blake Felson, Director of Facilities at Felson Companies concludes: “We comply with the law, we reduce our operating expenses, we do our part for the planet, and our residents like it. Everybody wins.”

Felson Companies was formally recognized for their outstanding achievements with a 2016 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Excellence in Recycling and Composting.

Get help engaging tenants in recycling and composting at your multi-family property with free resources for property managers  including posters, letter templates, and a detailed how-to guide.