The City of Austin requires commercial property owners and business managers to ensure that their employees and commercial tenants have convenient access to recycling.

Who is responsible?

The property owners and business managers are responsible for meeting these recycling requirements. Typically, the person who oversees the contract for landfill trash and recycling submits the recycling plan.

What do I need to do?

1. Submit a recycling plan

You must submit a recycling plan every year starting October 1. This plan is a report of how the business meets all of the recycling requirements below. You will need these items to fill out your recycling plan:

  • An invoice or contract receipt from your licensed hauler(s) with:
    • The size, number and location of your outdoor landfill trash and recycling dumpsters or carts.
    • How often your landfill and recycling dumpsters or carts are picked up.
  • Your property ID from your previous records or a letter/email from Austin Resource Recovery.
  • Information about how and when you educate your residents and employees on your recycling program.

Blue button: Submit Recycling Plan

2. Offer recycling

Commercial property owners and business managers are required to provide sufficient recycling capacity to their commercial tenants and employees:

  • Provide single-stream recycling, which allows these five materials (paper, cardboard, metal, glass and hard plastics) to be put into one container or recycled seperately.
  • Provide equal or greater capacity for recycling than landfill trash.
    • Organics diversion programs could also help meet this requirement.
    • Preventing landfill trash by reusing, repurposing or donating items could also help you meet this requirement.

3. Provide convenient access

  • All outdoor recycling dumpsters and carts must be 25 feet or less from all landfill trash dumpsters and carts.
    • If needed, contact your licensed hauler to move the dumpsters at your property.
  • If you provide indoor landfill trash and recycling collection service, you are required to group them together and label them in at least two languages.

Image of trash and recycling dumpsters with an arrow in between and text, "no more than 25 feet apart"

4. Educate employees 

You must:

  • Teach employees about what is recyclable within 30 days of employee hire and every year after.
  • Notify employees of any significant changes to your recycling service within 30 days of change.
  • Provide bilingual education (English and Spanish) in person, online or through printed materials.

Download bilingual handouts about recycling and reuse in the workplace. These templates can be customized to include workplace specific materials and challenges to share with employees. Your licensed hauler may also have educational material available for use.

5. Post signs  

You must post bilingual signs on or near all landfill and recycling stations and containers.

  • Contact your licensed hauler to add signs to their outdoor containers on your property.
  • Print free interior recycling posters in English and SpanishFrenchMandarinVietnameseKorean or Arabic.
  • Make your own signs by choosing items that are frequently disposed of at your property:

Additional resources

If you also provide access to composting, download and display this sign.


Learn about requirements for properties downtown

If your commercial property downtown near Congress or 6th Street, you may receive Downtown District Service from the City of Austin. If your property is located in this area and: ·

  • You have a food permit, you are required to fill out an organics plan.
  • You do not have to fill out a recycling plan.

Violations of the URO (Austin City Code Chapter 15-6) are a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $2,000 per day, per offense. For free information, guidance and resources email us or call 512-974-9727.