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May 2015 Spotlight: The Albert Building

Posted on May 30, 2015

The Albert Building

The Albert Building’s Story:
The Albert Building has come a long way since the days when so much trash was generated from the offices that it would fill up the freight elevator on a daily basis! Robert Berry, who has owned and managed the building for over 35 years, is helping to bring the 1930’s structure into the modern age. The downtown property houses ground floor retail and restaurant space, and about 40 offices in the floors above. This year Mr. Berry began composting paper hand towels from the bathrooms and has improved recycling in the offices  – and now just uses one 64-gallon cart per day for landfill waste. The key, he says, was when he decided to provide dedicated bins throughout the building. Bins are either labeled or color-coded, and sized appropriately for the location. Recycling and compost bins don’t get plastic liners – which helps to differentiate them and saves staff time. Mr. Berry worked with his janitorial service to establish the new system, and created materials to inform tenants of the changes. Mr. Berry is also in the process of getting the building LEED certified, and says his motivation is that “it’s the right thing to do.”

View a sample recycling letter to tenants (adapted from a document) or email sustainability dot coordinator at cityofsanrafael dot org to get it in Word format.

View the full article, tips and resources case study.

Secret to Success
Standardized waste containers and recycling procedures

Major Gains
Reduced waste 33%

How They Did It:
Provided properly labeled bins in convenient locations for tenants
Worked with janitorial company to establish a new system that worked for everyone
Created informational document for tenants to help them recycle
Recycling and compost bins don’t get plastic liners – which helps to differentiate them and saves staff time

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