The final expansion of the curbside composting program to approximately 55,000 additional Austin households is complete.
Previously, about 152,000 homes received the curbside composting collection service. This final expansion provides the service to all remaining Austin Resource Recovery customers after a four-year phased-in approach that began in 2017. In previous years, ARR offered in-person open house events giving new curbside composting customers the opportunity to learn about the program, learn how to use the service and receive free resources to start composting. This year, in order to adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations, we held a virtual town hall and distributed free kitchen collectors and compostable bags at drive-thru events.
The program collects food scraps, yard trimmings, food-soiled paper and natural fibers, and converts them into nutrient-rich compost. Because materials are processed in a commercial composting facility, extremely high temperatures are reached, allowing Austinites to compost items like meat, dairy, seafood and bones that typically cannot be composted in a backyard. This program is part of the City of Austin’s zero waste goal to divert 90 percent of materials from landfills by 2040.