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City implements rules for organics diversion

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by Katy McElroy

Austin adopted its Universal Recycling Ordinance in an effort to move forward in the city’s goal to be zero-waste by 2040. A 2015 Diversion Study showed that more than 85 percent of Austin’s trash and recycling comes from commercial businesses, and over 37 percent of material sent to landfills is actually organic material that can be donated or composted. On Monday, the food diversion rules of the ordinance went into effect, which require all food-centered commercial businesses to make it easy for employees to divert organics. While donating extra, unused food is the preferred method, diversion can also be accomplished through many other means, such as giving local animal farms or ranches food scraps or composting on-site or through a third party. Businesses are also encouraged to develop a different, customized solution. However they decide to comply, all businesses are required to annually submit their diversion plan online at In addition, all businesses must educate their employees on compliance with the ordinance by providing regular training and posting informational signage. Austin Resource Recovery is holding two sessions for managers, business owners and janitorial service providers to learn more about the ordinance. The first one is Monday, Oct. 22, 2-3 p.m. at County Line on the Lake, 5204 FM 2222, and the second is Tuesday, Oct. 30, 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar Blvd. RSVP for the free events here.

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