Austin Resource Recovery is asking for public input to help meet Austin’s zero waste goal by keeping food waste out of the landfill. To do so, ARR is developing proposed changes to the Universal Recycling Ordinance (Austin City Code Chapter 15-6 Article 5) that would require composting at multifamily properties.
Austin City Council will consider this item at the September 21st meeting.
More information can be found here: September 21, 2023 Austin City Council Regular Meeting | AustinTexas.gov
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Background – Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO)
The Universal Recycling Ordinance requires:
- Commercial business owners and multifamily properties to ensure that all commercial tenants, multifamily residents and employees have access to recycling.
- Food-permitted businesses to ensure that all employees have convenient access to diversion methods that keep organics materials out of the landfill. Organic material can include unused food, food scraps, and food soiled paper.
Additional requirements include:
- An annual report.
- Convenient access to recycling.
- Signs on dumpsters and carts showing what materials are accepted. Signs much be in English and Spanish.
- Education for residents and employees at least once per year and within 30 days of hire or move-in.
Waivers can be requested by properties and businesses that cannot meet certain requirements.
In the twelve months following the effective date of the ordinance, City staff will not enforce fines, unless the property fails to make a good faith effort.
Violations of the URO are a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $2,000 per day, per offense.
The proposed changes would build on these existing requirements. This means that all the above requirements and rules would apply to the new added requirements around composting at multifamily properties.
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