Recycling – Austin Resource Recovery

Residential Recycling: We Want Every Spec of It!

Austin Resource Recovery LogoBlue-bin Recycling: The City of Austin has become the first city in Texas to adopt a “zero waste” goal to recycle or reuse 90% of its solid waste.  Our biggest strategy in the residential sector is to make it easy and to come to your door.  Our blue “single-stream” container eliminates sorting.  All recyclables go into one container and get sorted later by a Material Recovery Facility.  With exceptions, collection occurs every second week.

What We Take: Aluminum foil pans; aluminum foil (balls 2 inches or greater); cardboard and paper packaging; glass bottles and jars; metal cans; plastic containers and packaging used for food, water, cleaners, and body-care products; and (clean) paper of all kinds (without foil in paper).

What We DON’T Take: clothing and fabric (collected by another program); clothes hangers; electronics; food scraps; garden hoses; helium tanks; household hazardous waste; paint cans; pizza boxes; plastic bags; rope; styrofoam.

Yard Trimmings: Grassclippings, leaves, and small tree limbs (under 5 feet in length and under 3 inches in diameter) are picked up weekly.  Place grass and leaves in a kraft-paper bag or a container no more than 34 gallons.

Large Brush: Twice a year, we pick up large tree limbs.  These should be stacked so they are no longer than 15 feet, no higher than 4 feet, and tree trunks thicker than 8 inches should be cut no longer than 3 feet wide.

Bulky Items: Also twice a year, we pick up bulky items not considered household trash or hazardous waste.

What We Take: appliances (with doors removed); carpet; doors; furniture; lawn mowers (oil and gas removed); car tires (rims removed); metal, nail-free lumber; railroad ties (cut in half); rolled fencing; wood pallets.

What We DON’T Take: glass and mirrors; remodeling debris; vehicles.

Clothes and Kitchen Ware: We contract with a company that recycles used clothes and kitchen utensils, which should be left out in a special green plastic bag on the same day as your recycling pick-up.  To obtain these (free) bags, e-mail:, or call (866) 835-5068.

What’s My Schedule?!: Timing for recycling and other curbside programs can be easily accessed at  For those without Web access, call 311 to get the schedule, and sign up for phone or text reminders.

Environmental-Directory-half-page-APTCondos AD

Austin Businesses Recycle!

Austin Resource Recovery LogoThe City of Austin is committed to a “Zero Waste” goal (90% or greater reduction in solid waste) by 2040. To do that, Austinites must have access to recycling where they live and work.  A 2015 study confirmed 85% of Austin’s trash and recycling comes from commercial and multifamily properties. The Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) is key to achieving Zero Waste.

The URO requires businesses to ensure convenient access to recycling for employees and tenants. As of Oct. 1, 2016, all apartment and condominium communities must ensure recycling is available and almost all commercial office, retail and warehouse properties are required to provide recycling services to tenants and employees.

Organics Diversion

Businesses that have a food permit will be required to establish programs to divert organic material from landfills, also known as Organics Diversion.  Material includes food scraps, food-soiled paper, paper towels/napkins and yard and floral debris.  All food-permitted businesses will be affected by the ordinance between now and 2018, with time of compliance based on the square footage inspected by the Austin/Travis County Human Services & Health Department.

Resources and Incentives:

Property owners and businesses that do not make good faith efforts to comply with the URO will be referred to the Austin Code Department for enforcement.  However, we prefer incentives, education, cooperation, and saving businesses money on their solid waste disposal bills to the enforcement alternative.

• The City’s Zero Waste Business Rebate (up to $1,800) are available to help property owners and managers establish, expand or improve recycling programs.

• Austin Resource Recovery’s Commercial Recycling team provides free technical assessments and training.

• Numerous free educational resources and educational signs are available for download at:

• We offer free Lunch & Learns and One-on-one assistance:

Phone: (512) 974-9727


Online RSVP: AustinTexas.Gov/URO.

Environmental Directory ad on organic recycling for businesses

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