Show your green cart some love: three reasons you should use your green composting cart

Green compost cart with hearts around it

By: Ashley Pace

The final expansion of the City’s Curbside Composting Program is rolling out this month. So now that you either have a green composting cart or soon will, it’s time to talk about why you should use it. Here are three short and simple reasons why you should compost as much as possible:

1. It will save you money

Putting your food scraps and food-soiled paper in your green composting cart means you have less to put in your trash cart each week and you might be able to get a smaller, less expensive trash cart. Customers who currently have the largest trash cart size at 96-gallons could save over $320 a year by downsizing to the smallest, 24-gallon cart. 

2. It saves room in the landfill for actual trash

A recent study shows that 46 percent of what Austinites send to community landfills could have been composted. Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) currently uses the Texas Disposal Systems Landfill for all of ARR’s trash and they are projecting that it will be full in another 13 years. A full landfill means a closed landfill, and a closed landfill means that Austin will have to find a new place to send trash. That could mean Austin needs to find a new place for another landfill or higher transportation costs to ship trash out to existing landfills farther away. 

3. It creates a valuable product

After ARR trucks pick up the compostable material from your green cart, it is taken to an industrial facility where it is turned into nutrient-rich compost. Compost can be used as a chemical-free fertilizer and helps with water retention in soil, creating a healthier environment. When sent to a landfill instead, those same materials don’t turn into anything of value and break down without oxygen, creating harmful greenhouse gases.

Austin's zero waste goal

The City of Austin has a goal to reach zero waste by the year 2040. Getting there will mean all Austinites reduce, reuse, recycle and compost as much as possible to make sure we are leaving behind a city and a planet the next generation will be proud to inherit. We have a big goal Austin, but by making small steps in our daily lives, like using your green composting cart, we can get there together.

Although having a new service can feel overwhelming, it doesn't need to be. Follow this guide and you will be composting like a pro with your new curbside composting collection service in no time.