If you own or manage an apartment building or complex, you may be paying more for your dumpster than necessary. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your dumpster costs. 

Prevent non-residents from using your dumpsters

One definite thing that will cause your dumpster cost to be far more than it should is non-residents using your dumpsters to throw away their garbage. The first thing to determine is whether or not your dumpster is being used by other people. Consider setting up a surveillance camera to watch who comes and goes.

If you do figure out that your dumpsters are being used as a public dumping ground, install fencing around your dumpster complete with a gate that locks with a keypad. The keypad will allow your tenants to not have to worry about grabbing a key, dropping a key into the dumpster, or getting locked out if they take their trash out in the middle of the night. 

Limit your tenants to using the dumpsters only for their residential waste

Research shows that 4.3 pounds of waste is generated every day by an average person. It's important for your tenants to understand that just because there are dumpsters available for their use doesn't mean they can use the dumpsters to take trash for others or to get rid of trash from their employment.

For example, if you have a tenant who is a construction contractor, you don't want him or her filling your dumpsters with wood, drywall, and other building materials. Those types of materials would definitely weigh more than the average 4.3 pounds. Make your tenants aware they are only to use the dumpsters for their residential waste. It's a good idea to explicitly write this in the lease contract. 

Get containers for recyclables and label them for easy identification

A lot of people do not recycle, for various reasons. If you don't have containers for recyclables already, get them. Recycling waste is good for the environment and may help you earn some money or reduce your waste costs, depending on your area and whether your waste-management company also recycles. Obviously, you'll want to have a container for aluminum, glass, and plastic as well as a container for paper. 

Make sure the containers for the recyclables are easy to identify and distinguish, especially if you have tenants for whom English is a second language. The best way to distinguish each type of recyclable is with simple pictures. It's a good idea to prepare an information sheet for each primary language spoken by your tenants, and this sheet should include a list of items appropriate for each recycling container. 

Have a waste-management analysis done quarterly

Have the waste-management company perform an analysis of the garbage and recyclables on a quarterly basis. This will help show whether you and your tenants have achieved a reduction in waste and an increase in recyclables over time. This analysis is done by workers who will sort through and weigh the waste and recyclables. Hopefully, you'll see an decrease in waste and an increase in recyclables.

If not, consider giving your tenants incentives to help reduce the amount of waste your apartment complex or building generates so you can reduce the costs of dumpster rentals. Several examples of incentives are a certain amount off of one month's rent, a bus pass, a bundle of apartment essentials like cleaning products, or a gift card to the nearest grocery store or take-out restaurant. These incentives can be done for each dumpster assigned to different floors, wings, or buildings, with the results being determined by the waste-management analysis. 

Talk to a company such as ESP Dumpsters & Waste Services for more ideas.