Have You Ever Used Those Green Simple Recycling Bags?

Simple Recycling Bags
Have you ever used those green Simple Recycling bags to get rid of unwanted clothes/household items? The City of Austin wants to hear from you.

They’re hosting a series of open houses to collect feedback from the public about the service. (Even if you’ve never used the service before, the city wants to know why.) The information they collect will be used to help inform future curbside clothing/housewares recycling service modifications or enhancements.

The open houses will be held on Saturday, June 16th and Saturday, June 30th.

Can’t make it to an open house? You can still give your feedback by filling out this form online>>

Wait, what’s the Simple Recycling program again?

The Simple Recycling program was rolled out in late 2016 to all of the city’s curbside recycling customers. The idea was to create a simple and easy way to reduce the 3,322 tons of textiles that get sent to the landfill in Austin each year.

Using the green bags is easy. All you have to do is fill them with old clothes, books, shoes, or kitchenware that you don’t want anymore and put them on your curb on your regular recycling pickup day. Then a third party (Simple Recycling) comes by and picks them up to be sold for reuse or recycled.

However, the program has been wrapped up in controversy since it was first launched. Local thrift stores and nonprofit organizations (like Goodwill and the Salvation Army) were very upset about the Simple Recycling program, expressing fear that it would eat away at their own donations (especially since Simple Recycling is a for-profit company). You can learn more about the debate over Simple Recycling with this podcast from our radio partner, Shades of Green>>

So why does this matter?
In Austin, we’ve set a goal for ourselves to divert 90 percent of our waste from the landfill by 2040. We’ll never reach that number if we keep throwing away literally tons of clothing each year.

So the question now is – how do we do that in a way that’s both easy and cost effective? If you have any ideas or thoughts, now’s the time to get involved!

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