The Case Studies presented below showcase local businesses that have found effective means to implement recycling, composting or other zero waste practices with Austin Resource Recovery staff guidance. If you’d like to receive advice on starting or improving a program at your business, contact our Business Outreach team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-974-9727.
Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches
Challenges. Batch owners envisioned a Zero Waste operation that avoided confusing customers with difficult sorting decisions for utensils and dishware. By outfitting their operation with items which were reusable and recyclable Batch simplified the customer experience and achieved a greater than 70% diversion rate.
Challenges. As a self-styled, zero waste business, Bento Picnic strives to eliminate waste from all aspects of its operations. Owner Leanne Valenti struggled with the idea that when serving food in disposable containers her customers’ final experience with Bento would be with its trash can. Leanne used the Zero Waste Business Rebate to purchase reusable dishware to enhance the end-to-end zero waste experience for her customers.
Magnolia Montessori For All
Challenges. Magnolia Montessori wanted to bring a focus on nature into the classroom, but top-down initiatives did not always fit each unique classroom. By empowering students and teachers to devise innovative ways to minimize waste, Magnolia Montessori was able to save money and play nice with the environment.
Challenges. Capital Kitchens is a shared commercial kitchen that rents space to 30 businesses, primarily mobile food vendors. The owner did not know where to start to comply with the URO Organics Diversions requirements, especially since clients already experienced challenges educating staff to recycle right.
Challenges. Hardin House is a private dorm in West Campus, directly west of the University of Texas. Each August, 229 women move in during a 2-day period, producing a large volume of boxes, plastic film and Styrofoam. Yearly turnover also makes recycling education challenging for director Kathryn Parke and staff.
Challenges. Nature’s Treasures previously self-hauled waste from their operations, including a rock depot, a retail store and a community event center for classes, fairs and rentals. Nature’s Treasures staff was aware of the URO, and looking for guidance on how to make it cost-effective for the business.
Piazza Navona Condominiums
Challenges. Piazza Navona Condominiums' door-to-door (valet) trash and recycling program was struggling. A low participation rate from student residents, and services did not align with hauler services. Additionally, valet services were offered 3 times per week, but its two landfill trash dumpsters were serviced daily, adding costs. Obtaining residents' contact information was challenging since most units were leased by owners.
The VORTEX/Butterfly Bar
Challenges. As a nonprofit organization, The VORTEX struggled to fund a composting program. The Zero Waste Business Rebate enabled management to jump-start a program for both employees and customers.
Pi Beta Phi Sorority House
Challenges. The UT-Austin West Campus sorority house faced multiple obstacles implementing recycling and composting. Challenges included increasing participation, educating new residents and getting effective programs in place.
The Pointe at Ben White
Challenges. The property manager's primary concern was complying with the Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO). Additionally, as new phases of the complex were build, they needed to adjust trash and recycling services. Another challenge was engaging tenants upon move-in to create lasting recycling habits and build a successful recycling program.
Challenges. Each summer, students move out of GrandMarc apartments after classes end at the University of Texas. In a typical year, significant volumes of reusable and recyclable material are thrown away during move out. GrandMarc contracts for a roll-off trash dumpster every summer to capture the additional material. The property manager wanted to donate material but was unsure how given the property’s layout.
Pearl St. Co-Op & KXAN
Challenges. Pearl St. Co-Op, owned and operated by College Houses, and KXAN share a space-constrained alley in West Campus. For years, both businesses managed their own waste services and struggled to combat continuous illegal dumping. It was also commonplace for parked cars to block dumpsters, resulting in missed pick-ups.