Generation Zero program emphasizes Zero Waste and sustainability
This fall, Austin Resource Recovery is implementing a new youth education program with an emphasis on Zero Waste and sustainability for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. This program, aptly named Generation Zero, will be administered by Keep Austin Beautiful and is free and available to public, private and charter schools within the Austin city limits.
Generation Zero will provide students and educators with the opportunity to engage in fun, hands-on activities and service projects that raise awareness about recycling, composting and conservation while providing simple solutions for reducing waste. The program will also educate area youth about the City’s Zero Waste goal to reduce 90 percent of waste going to landfills by 2040.
“In order to succeed with our Zero Waste goals, we need to create lasting habits that foster environmental stewardship and waste reduction,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert. “Educating Austin’s youth is one of the ways we seek to achieve this.”
Curriculum is TEKS compliant and incorporates subject matter that easily lends itself to the classroom setting. Lessons range from composting to the anatomy of a landfill, with each age group receiving a particular subject emphasis. Following two classroom presentations, Generation Zero culminates with a service project that reinforces the lessons learned.
“We are excited to partner with Austin Resource Recovery in this effort,” said Keep Austin Beautiful Director Rodney Ahart. “We have long been involved in efforts to promote ideals of conservation and waste reduction and this program will allow us to extend our reach in very meaningful ways.”
Keep Austin Beautiful is developing the curriculum and providing instruction on behalf of Austin Resource Recovery. Since 1985, KAB has helped establish Austin as a leader in environmental protection and sustainability by providing a number of free programs to the community that engage more than 20,000 volunteers and educate 8,500 youth on an annual basis.
To reach Austin’s diverse community, lessons will be taught at a broad range of areas throughout the City and will be available in English and in Spanish. The program aims to reach approximately 10,000 youth during the two-year contract.
About Austin Resource Recovery Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner.
About Keep Austin Beautiful Keep Austin Beautiful is a nonprofit that inspires and educates individuals and our community towards greater environmental stewardship. KAB is dedicated to providing litter prevention programs, beautification and community improvement and waste reduction and conservation. More than 20,000 people volunteer their time each year, committing 60,000 hours to clean and beautify Austin through KAB programs and events.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701