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Simple Recycling blowback discussed at ZWAC

Monday, February 13, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

After an update on the recently launched curbside textile/housewares recycling program, some members of the Zero Waste Advisory Commission urged staff to include them in the creation of future recycling initiatives at their Feb. 8 meeting. During the director’s report, Interim Austin Resource Recovery Director Sam Angoori informed the commission about the public blowback to the city’s contracting Simple Recycling to operate the new program. During two stakeholder meetings since the start of the program last December, nonprofits like Goodwill and the Salvation Army claimed that the program has negatively impacted their donation volume. Commissioner Joshua Blaine said that this conflict may have been circumvented if ZWAC had been part of the program’s development. Even though it was conceived as part of the Zero Waste Strategic Plan, he said, it still should have come before the commission for review. “To me, that’s even more of a reason for something to come before us,” he said. “That’s something that the commission should be part of from the beginning.”

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