Need to Know

Study Shows Austin Diverted Less Than 50% of Waste Last Year

A recent study conducted by CB&I Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. reveals that the City of Austin, Texas, only diverted approximately 42 percent of its waste last year, mostly through recycling and composting efforts.

The city had a goal of diverting 50 percent of its materials by 2015, but these results show that Austin did not hit that goal as planned. The long-term goal for Austin is to be a zero waste city, but in order to do that the city needs to step up its recycling game.

Austin American-Statesman highlights more information about the recent study:

In the city’s first comprehensive look at how much trash it keeps out of landfills, a new study says that Austin diverted an estimated 42 percent of its waste last year, mostly through recycling and composting.

That puts the city behind its goal of diverting 50 percent of all materials by 2015, which is just one step on the path to the ultimate aim of reaching “zero waste,” or keeping nearly all materials out of landfills, by 2040.

Andrew Dobbs, Central Texas program director for Texas Campaign for the Environment, said he was “dreading a little bit” the release of the study — but the diversion rate wasn’t as low as he feared.

“I think it could have been a lot worse,” Dobbs said. “Knowing what we do about other cities in Texas, (42 percent) indicates we’re already doing some good stuff, that we’ve got some of the basics covered, and now we can reach and do more.”

Read the full story here.

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