Your Guide To The Universal Recycling Ordinance

Recycling Bins

Did you know? The City of Austin has a set of rules that ensures that Austinites have convenient access to recycling. It’s called the Universal Recycling Ordinance (or the URO for short) and if you’re a business owner, landlord, or resident of Austin, it’s definitely something you should know about. 

If you live in a single family home in Austin, recycling pickup services (and eventually composting services) are provided to you by Austin Resource Recovery, a department of the City of Austin. But what about everybody else? That’s where the URO comes in. Starting in 2013, the URO laid out a timeline to ensure that all Austin residents have access to recycling, by requiring building managers and landlords to provide the service for all apartment- and condo-dwellers.

As of October 1st 2017, that timeline has finished, which means that pretty much every single person in Austin should have access to at-home recycling. If you don’t feel like you have convenient access to recycling, you can call 3-1-1 or fill out this online form and tell the City of Austin. City staff will then work with your building manager to ensure that recycling is provided.

But the URO isn’t just about recycling. It’s also about composting and organics diversion. Under the ordinance, by October 1st, 2018, all restaurants, farmers markets, grocery stores, and food-related businesses (that serve non-prepackaged food) will be required to ensure their employees have convenient access to organics diversion/composting services. This can include opportunities for food waste prevention and leftover food recovery/donation, as well as composting.

Like the recycling component of the URO, the composting requirement is being rolled out gradually. As of October 1st, 2017, only businesses that are 5,000 square feet or larger must comply with the ordinance.

Are you a business owner who is worried about how to comply with the URO? Do you need advice for how to effectively provide recycling and composting services? Then you’re in luck because Austin Resource Recovery is offering several free trainings to get you up to speed.

URO Everything You Need To Know

The trainings will be held on:

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