road to zero waste
A close up image of multiple plastic water bottles.
A close up of multiple plastic water bottles.

By Allison Strupeck

Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) is a proud part of the U.S. Plastics Pact which is now in an ambitious phase. The Pact’s enhanced strategic plan, Roadmap 2.0, aims to accelerate the creation of a circular economy where plastic packaging is reused, recycled, composted and kept within the economy—instead of becoming waste.

The nationwide plan features five targets:

  1. Eliminate all items o…

By: Keri Greenwalt and Susanne Harm

Do you ever wonder what happens to all the stuff you put into your blue recycling cart after it’s picked up at the curb? With global markets and recycling technology quickly evolving, it can be difficult to keep track, but recycling has many benefits. Let’s toss out the myths and shed some light on recycling, so you can feel good about showing your blue cart some love today and every day.

MYTH: Everything can be thrown into the trash c…

Food scraps with text overlay that says "only you can prevent food waste".

Over one third of all food produced in the U.S. is never eaten, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That wasted food often ends up in landfills where it is released as methane gas that contributes to climate change. 8-9% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste in landfills. By keeping food out of the landfill, we can help protect our planet, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our own backyard, and conserve important resources like labor, land, water and energy that are used to grow, package and transport food.  

Taking everyday steps to reduce food waste can also help you save money. Every year, Americans lose more than…


By: Nolan Fleming

The Holidays are in full swing. Along with all the joy and merriment, they can also bring a lot of extra waste! In fact, the United States generates 25 percent more waste during the holiday season. Here are some ways you can put a freeze on the issue and spread some eco-friendly cheer.


Think back on the Holidays last year and the gifts you received. How many of those gifts do you actually use to this day? The gifts that stand out to me have always been experiences or a story to share with friends and family. This year, consider giving the gift of a great story t…


By: Keri Greenwalt
(Updated November 9, 2022)

There has been a lot of talk about composting and how much material it can keep out of landfills, which is great for the environment and the City’s goal to reach Zero Waste by 2040. But how much work does it take to compost and what kind of set up is needed? The truth is, composting doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are many composting options right here in Austin, so you can decide what works best for you and your household.

Let someone else do the composting for you

Curbside Compo…




By: Bailey Grimmett

America Recycles Day is a day to pat ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come in recycling efforts, both nationally and locally. But did you know 20 percent of Austin’s recycling is contaminated? Contamination occurs when we put non-recyclable materials or garbage into our recycling car…


By Ashley Pace

We’ve made it through another trip around the sun, and now it’s time to think about what we can do in the next year to help live a more Zero Waste lifestyle. Here are some habits you can start today that can make a big impact in 2019.

Refuse what you won’t use

Simply put, if you are offered something, take a moment to think realistically about its value to you. Do you really need another koozie, pen, keychain or notebook from a random event or business? Do you even like the scent of that lot…


Bell peppers cut into jack-o-lanterns and used to serve cut veggies in.

By: Ashley Pace

Everyone likes a good fright for Halloween, but there is nothing scarier than piles of garbage taking over our streets! Instead of buying cheap one-time use items to spook up your celebration, use these tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle items for a more Zero Waste Halloween.

  1. Most store-bought Halloween costumes are made of cheap polyester materials and are thrown away after being worn one time. Ins…


By: Ashley Pace

Mother’s Day provides us with the opportunity to reflect on everything our incredible mothers bring to our lives. This year, as you decide how you will honor and thank them, take the extra time to give her an eco-conscious gift she will love and feel good about.

The gift of time

Think about what she would like to spend her day doing. Pack a picnic full of her favorite foods and head to a quiet spot, spend the day volunteering together for a cause she cares about, o…


By Natalie Betts

In the Zero Waste world, we often talk about used items that are about to be tossed into a bin. Making sure that as many of these items as possible go into a bin other than a trash can, so they can be recycled or composted instead, is critical to Zero Waste.

But what can we do to keep fewer items from being tossed out? What if everything around us was designed to be adapted, repaired, or reused? That’s the vision of the circular economy—an economic system where products are kept circulating in productive use at their highest valu…