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Need to Know

As Austin Works Toward ‘Zero Waste,’ Cost of Recycling Climbs

Hoping to keep nearly all waste out of landfills, the Austin City Council in 2011 hired two companies to handle the materials from the city’s curbside recycling program, with the projection that the city could see profits of almost $500,000 annually.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

A review of city records by the American-Statesman shows that Austin lost $1.9 million last fiscal year and a total of $2.7 million in the two previous years as a majority of recyclables have fetched less on the open market than the cost to process them. And city officials admit they don’t know the final resting place of some of the items that Austinites put in their blue bins, leaving open questions about the final environmental benefits of recycling.

Continue reading at the Austin American-Statesman

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