AUSTIN, TEXAS – Starting Oct. 1, 2012, property owners of large multifamily apartment complexes and commercial office buildings are required to ensure recycling is available for customers, tenants and employees. This ordinance is part of an ongoing effort to increase the life of local landfills, reduce harmful environmental impacts, boost the local economy and make progress toward our Zero Waste goal to divert 90 percent of materials from landfills by 2040.
In the first year, the ordinance will affect multifamily apartments with more than 75 dwelling units and commercial office buildings larger than 100,000 square feet. The ordinance will be phased in over the next four years, requiring more than 4,500 properties to recycle by October 2015. (See table)
> 75 dwelling units
> 100,000 sq. feet
> 50 dwelling units
> 75,000 sq. feet
> 25 dwelling units
> 50,000 sq. feet
> 25,000 sq. feet
“The City of Austin collects recyclables primarily from residential units,” says Austin Resource Recovery Director, Bob Gedert. “In order to get to Zero Waste, we need to work with commercial property owners to encourage recycling more and wasting less.”
Affected properties will be required to have convenient access to recycling, and must offer recycling of the following five materials at a minimum:
Glass bottles and jars
#1 (PETE) and #2 (HDPE) plastic containers
To help businesses maximize diversion, and become complaint with the ordinance, Austin Resource Recovery staff provides free consulting for property owners, including onsite technical assessments and training.
“The City of Austin is dedicated to helping property owners implement successful recycling programs, and our professional staff is available to offer guidance and answer questions,” Austin Resource Recovery Program Manager Aiden Cohen said. “During this first year, we’re focusing on educating the community and familiarizing affected businesses with ordinance requirements.”
In addition to recycling provisions, property owners will also be asked to provide the following:
Sufficient recycling capacity (dependent upon property type)
Informational signage in English and Spanish
Annual education for tenants and employees
Completion of an annual Recycling Plan form (available in coming months)
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.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701