Study: 80 percent of Austin trash is recyclable

Sorted recyclables from trash sample. (Courtesy: COA)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The smell of fermenting trash fills the air, coupled with the cacophony of garbage trucks depositing waste into Austin landfills daily.

A new study finds that 80 percent of Austin’s total trash collecting into mountains of discarded waste could have been recycled or composted. The data is the result of the 2015 Community Diversion Study conducted by the City Council as a part of their Austin initiative for Zero Waste. The study focused on Austin homes, businesses, apartments, and commercial properties’ trash habits.

2,000 tons of trash is dropped off at the Austin Community Landfill daily. Of the trash sent to landfills, the study found 37 percent of those materials could have been composted instead.

Businesses and apartments account for 85 percent of the community’s trash. Single family homes produce less than 15 percent of Austin’s waste.

Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert said, “The report has provided us with valuable data that shows us how we are doing and where we need to improve as a community in order to reach the Council’s vision of Zero Waste.”

Materials that qualify for composting include food scraps, food soiled paper, yard trimmings and other miscellaneous items. Find a full list of what you can compost here.

Recycling locations: 

Where you can compost in Austin: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s