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Over 500 pounds of trash collected from homeless encampments

Friday, October 11, 2019 by Katherine Corley

Over 500 pounds of trash, in 119 bags, has been collected thanks to Austin’s Violet Bag pilot program, according to Austin Resource Recovery’s report to the Zero Waste Advisory Commission on Wednesday evening. The Violet Bag trash collection program, as part of an initiative to help keep Austin clean, provides purple trash bags and trash drop-off sites close to homeless “encampments with a high volume of trash-related complaints. People experiencing homelessness have been encouraged to fill trash bags for weekly pickup” at the designated sites, per a recent city press release. The program is a collaboration between several city departments, including Austin Resource Recovery, Watershed Protection, the Office of Design and Delivery, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Integral Care PATH team, and Austin 311. The initial seven-week pilot program began in July and was tested in four areas: Ohlen Road and U.S. Highway 183 in North Austin; Cameron Road and U.S. 183 in Northeast Austin; Cesar Chavez Street and Interstate 35 in Central Austin; and Packsaddle Pass and State Highway 71 in South Austin. “The pilot added an additional site at Pleasant Valley Road and Cesar Chavez in East Austin for the second phase of the pilot, which will continue through the end of October. When the pilot ends, the program will be re-evaluated and recommendations will be made about expanding it citywide,” according to the press release.

This has been edited since publication.

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