Austin has a goal of reaching zero waste by 2040. This means reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90%. You can help by reducing the trash you create, reusing or donating items and recycling in your home.

What can be recycled?


  • Glossy paper
  • Junk mail
  • Envelopes
  • Home office paper
  • Paper bags
  • Magazines


  • Cardboard boxes
  • Cereal boxes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Soda boxes
  • Paper towel rolls
  • Toilet paper rolls

Cardboard boxes must be broken down. 

Hard plastic

  • Water bottles
  • Soda bottles
  • Plastic milk jugs
  • Jars and tubs
  • Detergent bottles


  • Glass jars
  • Glass bottles


  • Aluminum foil baking pans
  • Food cans
  • Soda cans
  • Steel and tin cans

Keep these items out of your recycling bin

  • Batteries
  • Electronics
  • Styrofoam
  • Waxy paper
  • Food-soiled paper
  • Plastic bags

Keep trash out of the recycling to avoid contamination.

Use our “What Do I Do With...?” tool to learn where to dispose of an item.

Talk to your property manager if recycling services in your community could improve. This includes more signs, recycling carts or resident education.

What other actions help Austin reach zero waste?

  • Reuse or donate items
    Use the Austin Reuse Directory to learn where to donate, resell, rent and repair items.

  • Drop off hard-to-recycle or hazardous materials
    Take batteries, electronics, plastic bags, Styrofoam, paint and other hard-to-recycle items to Austin’s Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center. Appointments are required.

  • Drop off material to compost
    Find a community garden near you to see if they accept food scraps and other organic materials to compost. Let your property manager know if you would like compost service in your community.

  • Lead zero waste efforts in your community
    Become a Zero Waste Block Leader to help your apartment or condo community lead the way in reuse and recycling.