A BTR Development Tip


The UK Built to Rent (BTR) sector is booming. Strategic waste planning might be an often-overlooked portion of new development, but it can be a big money saver throughout the life of the property.

As residents move into new buildings, waste hauling costs will ramp up quickly. Without proper management, waste charges can easily blow up to account for a consistently large portion of running expenses. To take a page from someone experienced in US multifamily developments, the following three main points should be taken into account during the waste planning phase.


  1. Dual Chutes

Designing a chute for trash and a chute for recycling makes recycling as easy as disposing of trash. This design, with clear signage for waste versus recycling chutes, is the simplest way to encourage residents to go green and participate in regular recycling.

In designing dual chutes in the same location, managers can realistically aim for a 50/50 split of trash and recyclable materials.


  1. Waste Room Layout

Strategically placing waste rooms means taking into account:

  • The property layout. Designing a midrise? How far would residents in the furthest units need to carry their waste? Dual chutes work best when placed side by side, rather than in different rooms or locations.
  • Proper ventilation within the waste room should be a consideration during the planning stages where possible.
  • Ingress/Egress. Waste collectors need ample access to manoeuvre their vehicles to pick up waste and equipment. This not only accounts for width, but height as well if they need to lift equipment or drive beneath beams or pipes.


  1. Compaction

Compacting waste material can reduce loose waste down to a third of its original size. Since compacted takes up less space, it needs not be hauled away as often as loose waste, therefore reducing the visit frequency of waste haulers.

With or without chutes, compacting waste can be beneficial to the bottom line. Though the per haul cost of compacted material may be higher than loose waste hauling, the lower frequency of hauls should more than make up for the per haul cost.

If a council does not handle compacted material and properties are using a third party for compaction, managers may be able to negotiate for up to an 18% reduction in your resident’s council tax.

Planning critically now will save time, headaches and money down the road.


Dustin Fjeld, Fjeld Consulting, creating value for PRS/BTR through process improvements, additional income streams, and the expense savings afforded to large unit concentrations.


About the Author: Dustin Fjeld

Dustin Fjeld
As founder member of Fjeld Consulting, Dustin has helped save clients thousands across a range of BTR, PBSA, PRS and Co-living portfolios.

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