All properties must recycle, at a minimum, mixed paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and aluminum cans. Properties can substitute any of these materials for another material that may increase diversion rates such as electronics, compostable materials, or pallets.
Commercial properties were initially required to have at least one unit of recycling service for every three units of trash service. In 2014, that shifted to a 1:1 ratio of weekly recycling service capacity to weekly trash service capacity. Multi-family properties must have at least 6.4 gallons of recycling service per dwelling, per week.
Indoor recycling containers should be paired with indoor trash containers whenever possible. Outdoor recycling containers must be located within 25 feet of trash containers. Haulers are required to post signage in English and Spanish to help residents and tenants sort for recycling.
Property owners are responsible for promoting the recycling by providing recycling information to new residents and tenants within seven days of move-in, at least once per year and within 30 days of program changes. Property owners are not responsible for tenants or employees using the recycling system.
Austin has committed to reduce the waste sent to landfills and incinerators by 90% by 2040. The city’s Zero Waste resolution identifies four Zero Waste policy priorities: