Prompted by a public outcry, University Towers, the popular off-campus apartment complex, has started a recycling program.
The first scheduled pickup for the giant recycling bins now in the laundry room of the 19-floor building was yesterday morning.
Not providing recycling is a violation of a city ordinance that requires owners of rental units to supply renters with outdoor recycling containers.
Tenants have been complaining about the lack of recycling for some time, but the building’s management did not respond until an article published in The Michigan Daily two weeks ago.
“I can’t believe it made the front page of the Daily and (a letter to the editor) got published from one of our former tenants,” property manager Dena Isley said. “It shocked all of us here.”
Isley compared the way the program was changed to a city ordinance that goes into effect this fall that pushes back the earliest date leases can be signed.
“I see it as the same thing that happened when the city changed the ordinance for leasing – a small minority of students make a lot of noise and they get what they want,” Isley said.
After the article ran, building management called Recycle Ann Arbor, a nonprofit that offers recycling programs to city residents. Recycle Ann Arbor gave them some educational materials.
Isley said she has arranged for someone to come in from the city’s System Planning Department to help pass out flyers and determine where to place the recycling bins. She said she hopes that a majority of University Towers’ residents will now recycle.
“I am happy to see University Towers has finally offered recycling,” said LSA junior Travis Radina, a former resident of the building.
Radina filled out a recommendation form requesting recycling while he was a resident last year.
“There are a lot of tenants in that building, and recycling will definitely cut down on the trash,” Radina said.