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On Dec. 15, 2011, the Austin City Council unanimously approved adoption of the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan. A culmination of two years of research, stakeholder engagement and community input, the Master Plan sets the stage for the Department’s programs and services for the next 30 years and beyond.

To achieve Austin’s Zero Waste Goal by 2040, the community needs to divert more than 90 percent of discards from being burned or buried.

In order to measure Austin’s progress towards zero waste, Austin Resource Recovery hired a third-party engineering firm (CB&I) to conduct a comprehensive study of recycling, composting, reduction, donation and other diversion activities at both residences and commercial businesses.

Zero Waste policies and ordinances allow the City of Austin to influence all the materials generated and distributed within the city, including those not directly collected by Austin Resource Recovery. By setting an example through consistent policy-setting, the City of Austin can achieve Zero Waste citywide and lead the region and the state in waste reduction.

The Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance, which took effect in March 2013, regulates the types of bags that can be distributed by business establishments in Austin and encourages a shift to reusable bags. This page provides documents related to the ordinance.

This page provides a summary of the Universal Recycling Ordinance and the complete ordinance language.