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Starting Today, 680 Austin Apartment Complexes Have to Offer Recycling

Beginning today, a total of 680 Austin apartment complexes – serving approximately 140,000 households – must offer recycling.

It's the second phaseof the City of Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance, affecting businesses and multi-family residences, which kicks in today. Here’s who’s affected:

  • Apartments and condominiums with 50 or more dwelling units
  • Commercial offices that are 75,000 square feet or larger

Residents and workers at these facilities must be offered recycling for a minimum of five materials: mixed paper, glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, cardboard and PETE and HPDE plastics. Landlords are also expected to have sufficient recycling capacity and signs in both English and Spanish.
Unlike the city-provided “blue bins” single-family home residents use for recycling, office and multifamily recycling can be provided by any number of private companies.

“This is about giving employees and tenants the opportunity to recycle at their office building, or at their home,” says Austin Resource Recovery’s Lauren Hammond. “This really expands opportunity for people who aren’t serviced by the City of Austin to make sure they have convenient access to recycling.”

The Universal Recycling Ordinance is being implemented in phases, beginning with requirements for Austin’s largest properties, and filtering down to smaller ones. With Phase 2 taking effect today, now 680 apartment complexes, comprising approximately 140,000 households, and 270 commercial office buildings must offer recycling. 

The next phase of Austin’s takes effect a year from now. It mandates recycling be offered at smaller properties: multi-family dwellings of 25 or more units, and businesses 50,000 square feet and up. By 2016, all multi-family properties will have to offer recycling.

And that’s not all: Austin Resource Recovery hopes to have larger restaurants composting their food scraps by 2016.   

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