In 2011, the Austin, Texas, City Council approved the adoption of the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, outlining the department’s programs and services for the next 30 years and beyond.
The master plan identifies milestones to achieve the City Council’s goal of zero waste by 2040, which translates to eliminating at least 90 percent of waste being sent to landfills.
As part of the master plan, Austin created a Circular Economy Program to attract, retain and grow businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs in the zero waste industry in order to create well-paying local jobs, attract investment and support the necessary infrastructure for a resilient circular economy in central Texas, according to the city’s website.
Additionally, the plan led to the creation of the Austin Materials Marketplace in 2014, an online exchange platform. Coordinated by the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development and supported by Austin Resource Recovery, the marketplace is a business-to-business reuse platform that creates a closed loop system where one company’s waste is another’s raw material.
According to Austin’s website, the Austin Materials Marketplace has diverted more than 945,000 pounds of material from landfills, and 962.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent has been avoided.