‘Trash Man’ helps businesses fight against waste

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Businesses and industries dealing with food and drinks are trying to get consumers to recycle more.  The city of Austin has a goal to reach zero waste by 2040 which means 90 percent of the city’s waste would be out of the landfill.  There’s a heavy push to get more people and businesses to recycle, compost and reuse.

Wednesday morning Honest Tea, an organic beverage company, hosted its “Great Recycle” campaign at Whole Foods Market at Arbor Trails Store in South Austin.  There is a 12 foot inflatable recycling bin and for every item recycled, someone will get a prize.

The incentive is a way to help people get in the process of not throwing trash into landfills.

“As a beverage company, we do produce a lot of containers so one of our overall priorities as a company is to be as great as possible so we’re looking to bring in as many recycle containers that we put out into the world,” said Courtney McNair, Division Marketing Manager with Honest Tea.

 Great Recycle Tour Schedule

  • Wednesday, July 30th – Whole Foods Market, Arbors Trails Store
  • Thursday, July 31st – Whole Foods Market, Bee Cave
  • Friday, August 1st – Whole Foods Market, Domain

There’s even a super hero called ‘trash man’ to help push the message to recycle.

“I feel like Austin needs a super hero to teach people about recycling,composting and to raise awareness on that and I think ‘Trash Man’ is the right man for the job.”said Brian Martin also known as ‘Trash Man.’

His suit is made out of recycled materials and every Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Whole Foods Market in South Austin, he talks to kids and parents on how to keep waste out of landfills.  He’s an employee during the day, helping sort the store’s trash.

Martin says that specific store creates around 9,000 lbs of compost a week, 12 – 16 thousand lbs in recycling and so far this year has kept 500,000 lbs of wast out of  landfills.

A spokesperson with Austin Resource Recovery said city council passed a universal recycling ordinance that would require businesses to offer recycling to employees and tenants. It’s phased in over several years, so by 2017 commercial buildings, apartments and condos will have to offer recycling.

“We encourage everyone to get on board and recycle as much as they can,” said Emlea Chanslor.  “When you recycle an item it can become a new item, like the plastic bottle that you throw away in recycling could eventually become a park bench or another item.  So recycling is beneficial for our environment.”


People at home can take
Austin has a goal to reach Zero Waste by 2040 that means that 90 percent of our waste would be kept out of landfills through recycling, composting or reuse.
Right now, our residents are keeping 40 percent of waste out of landfills and we’re challenging residents to do more.
Recycling tips
The City is asking residents to recycle 5 pounds more each month – Refer to visual.
This basket holds 5 pounds of recycling. It’s really not that much.
Recycle in every room of your house – a few items that many people forget about: shampoo bottles, soap dispensers, toilet paper rolls and junk mail.
Consider adding a recycling bin in your office or bathroom to make sure these items don’t end up in your trash.
Recycling everywhere
Austin also is working to ensure recycling is available everywhere including businesses, apartments and condos.
We appreciate events like this one today that support recycling and we’re working with businesses all over Austin to ensure they meet recycling requirements.
It’s all part of the plan help us reach Zero Waste and it will take all of us to reach our goal


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