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Resource filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development

Austin Approves New Zero Waste Plan

| Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Dec 19, 2011 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

At its meeting on Dec. 15th, 2011, the Austin City Council unanimously approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, a long-term plan that empowers the Austin community to achieve a drastic reduction in the amount of trash landfilled and aim for zero waste.

In 2009, City Council passed Texas’ first Zero Waste Plan and set a goal to reduce the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040. To ensure Zero Waste is achieved, the Department has established more aggressive goals and plans to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 90 percent by 2030.

Highlights of the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan:

  • Establishing reuse centers and drop-off facilities throughout the city to recover a variety of recyclable, reusable and repairable materials, including batteries, motor oil, paint and anti-freeze
  • Enhancing the Single Stream Recycling Program by accepting additional material types
  • Conducting a pilot program to collect yard trimmings, food scraps and compostable paper at the curb; rolling out a new citywide organics collection program based on pilot program results
  • Developing and operating a new Household Hazardous Waste Facility in north Austin
  • Phasing in universal recycling and composting requirements to all waste generators, both residential and commercial, within the City of Austin
  • Redeveloping land at the closed City landfill for an Eco-Industrial Park, where major remanufacturing facilities are co-located with processors of recycled materials
  • Conducting pilot programs for hard-to-recycle materials like mattresses and carpet
  • Creating policies and ordinances to support Zero Waste
  • Building and maintaining community partnerships