by J Retinger
Technology has bolstered many aspects of apartment management, from automating onsite tasks to creating a more streamlined leasing experience for renters. As green initiatives gain traction at apartment companies across the country, technologies geared towards sustainability and cleanliness have been playing a larger role within the industry.
An increasing number of residents want to live in eco-friendly environments and have indicated they’d pay more in rent to live in an efficient and sustainable community. Outside of being conscious of building materials and energy consumption, apartment operators have also been looking to implement trash automation and biotechnology services to create cleaner, healthier communities while minimizing impact to the surrounding environment and overall neighborhood and region.
Communities go through rigorous environmental testing to ensure they are following the appropriate sustainability efforts that enhance not only a specific property’s green initiatives, but the entire region’s ecosystem. Technology is leading the way in these efforts and its capabilities offer wide-reaching benefits for the environment.
For instance, trash collection is standard in many apartment communities, but technology-focused operators are now shifting towards options like trash automation. Automating trash collection offers multiple benefits to residents and the environment, including keeping communities free of materials that can cause lasting impacts to the environment.
While trash automation is a great solution, it doesn’t solve the challenge of unscooped pet waste. Pet waste provides a whole different, more harmful layer to environmental impact. Not only can the harmful pathogens found in pet waste make residents, onsite teams and and other pets sick, but on a larger scale, it can also contaminate local water sources.
Pet waste harbors millions of harmful bacteria that threaten the well being of both humans and animals. After a period of time, pet waste runs into water systems, negatively impacting multiple water sources and inevitably drinking water. If people come in contact with the bacteria found in pet waste, they can become extremely ill. If the environment is being negatively affected by pet waste, it’s only a matter of time before humans and other animals feel the impacts.
As pet ownership increases across the country, operators are reconsidering their pet restrictions and allowing more dog breeds and pets to live onsite. Although these advancements mean broader resident pools and higher occupancy rates, it also means more unscooped pet waste.
In an effort to reduce the amount of unscooped pet waste at communities, operators have turned to technology as a proactive pet waste solution. More and more apartment operators are utilizing biotechnology services that offer DNA testing of pet waste. Biotechnology not only proactively combats the amount of unscooped pet waste, but it also holds pet owners accountable, making it less likely they’ll make the same mistake more than once.
Biotechnology has proven to be an effective pet waste mitigation solution for operators around the world. More than 7,000 communities worldwide utilizing DNA testing for pet waste have reported a 95% decrease in the amount of unscooped pet waste.
Services like DNA testing for pet waste aim to protect the environment by promoting responsible pet ownership. If a DNA match points to a specific resident, there isn’t really an excuse. After all, DNA doesn’t lie. Accountability is one part of the unscooped pet waste problem and leveraging technology to create accountability allows operators to get ahead of the problem before it even begins. If the problem gets out of hand, eventually onsite efficiencies will suffer.
Maintenance teams are typically tasked with picking up unscooped pet waste, which can equate to one or two days a week of picking up pet waste. In that timeframe, important duties, like fulfilling work orders and turning vacant apartments, are not getting done, which can tank resident satisfaction. The ripple effect can be damaging to both community reputation and environmental sustainability. Maintenance teams are the backbone of any community and operators simply cannot afford to have them sidelined or distracted cleaning up pet waste.
Successful sustainability efforts, especially those that enhance community cleanliness, attract and retain quality renters that value living in environmentally conscious communities. Keeping a clean and green property will most certainly give operators a competitive advantage that decreases vacancy rates and resident turnover while simultaneously doing their part to minimize environmental impact.