The pack rat, or trader rat, is nature’s original recycler. Artist: John Dolley

• In 2015, the average Austin household disposed of 1.1 tons of solid waste per year.  This amounted to 2.25 pounds per person per day.  Only 38% of this was recycled.

• 90% of what was not recycled, including glass, metal, paper, plastics, and yard waste, could have been.

• Municipal Solid Waste in the U.S. was 254 million tons in 2013.  However, about 50 pounds of raw materials is created for every pound of solid waste disposed of by consumers.

Six Things You Can Do to Get to Zero Waste

Take personal action to reduce your carbon footprint associated with water. Austin is a city that has made it easy to recycle, precycle, and compost. Don’t buy new, or buy high-quality materials that last. Join with other activists to persude the public and elected officials of the necessity of this “zero waste” goal and best policies to achieve it.  (You can find such groups in the Environmental Groups section.)

Austin Resource Recovery Programs

In the 1980s, Austin began one of the first recycling programs in Texas for residences.  Today, it offers expanded zero-waste services for residential customers as well as commercial businesses.

Recycling Drop-Off Centers

This is a list of the recycling drop-off centers and points in the greater Austin area and the materials that they collect.

Collection Center for Hazardous Waste, Recycling, and Reuse

This center near Ben White and IH 35 allows Austinites to drop off household hazardous waste, as well as materials that can be recycled and reused.

Earthworm Tea?

An interesting twist on composting is to raise worms in a way that allows water to dissolve their castings for easy distribution.

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