It has finally arrived. The first phase of Austin Resource Recovery’s curbside composting program will be rolled out starting October 2nd. Phase one will bring the service to 38,000 customers in neighborhoods throughout the city. To see if your neighborhood is on this list, you can check out this map>>
Residential curbside composting has been a dream for Austin Resource Recovery and many environmental activists for years now, especially after it was discovered that about 37 percent of what Austinites throw away is actually compostable.
In its efforts to be an environmental leader, the City of Austin has set a goal that as a community we’ll be able divert 90 percent of our waste from the landfill by 2040. Unfortunately, in recent years we’ve fallen short of our benchmark targets in order to reach that goal. In 2015, our diversion rate was only 42 percent, despite a goal of 50 percent diversion.
Since so much of what we throw away is actually compostable, the idea is that curbside composting could help us to reach our waste reduction goals. A pilot program covering 14,000 customers has already been running for several years. (These customers will continue to receive curbside composting service once phase one rolls out, bringing the total number of households with access to the service to more than 50,000).
Already, all Austin Resource Recovery customers are paying $1 a month for the new composting program (whether they have the bin or not). Once the program is rolled out to everyone, customers will pay about $4 a month for composting services.
However, under the city’s current pay-as-you-throw garbage fee system, customers might be able to cancel out that fee by diverting more of their waste to the compost bin. In case you didn’t know, the city charges you more money if you have a larger trash can. By diverting more waste to compost, customers might be able to downsize from a 64-gallon cart to a 32-gallon cart, saving $61 a year, which is actually more than what the composting fee is expected to cost.
The ultimate goal is to expand the curbside composting program in phases so that it reaches all Austin Resource Recovery curbside customers (which includes most Austinites living in single family homes) by 2020. You can learn more about the city’s curbside composting program here>>