With residential waste accounting for less than 15 percent of Austin’s waste total, the city is greatly depending on business participation to meet its goal of becoming a zero waste city by 2040. And to help get commercial properties on board with the zero waste plan, the city is about to complete its rollout of a four-year, phase-in ordinance that requires commercial properties to provide recycling services.
Local plant and botanical design firm and event space Articulture Designs is one company that has been an active participant in the city’s recycling program and zero waste practices. To encourage its employees to recycle, the studio offers a single stream receptacle for materials like aluminum, plastic bottles, papers and cardboard and a compactor for materials such as plastic bags, plastic foam, scrap metal, batteries and wood pallets.
Community Impact Newspaper has more details:
Is Austin’s goal of sustainability sustainable? The city aims to be zero-waste by 2040—meaning 90 percent of discarded materials will be either recycled or composted and not sent to landfills—yet 80 percent of the items at city landfills could have been recycled or composted, according to a 2015 study.
Yet business community members and environmental advocates alike seem to agree that Austin is making strides toward a target that seemed high to some at the time of its adoption in 2009—when the city became the first in Texas to adopt such a strategy.
The four-year phase-in of the city’s ordinance requiring commercial properties—including schools, medical facilities and businesses, in addition to apartments and condominiums—to provide recycling services is set to be complete Oct. 1.