The Universal Recycling Ordinance's (URO) organic diversion requirements support Austin's Zero Waste goal by ensuring that employees of food-permitted businesses have convenient access to landfill diversion methods for organic materials (like food scraps or soiled paper products). The goal of the ordinance is to increase the life of local landfills, reduce harmful environmental impacts, encourage economic development, and support the Environmental Protections Agency’s (EPA) food recovery hierarchy.
Organic materials may include food waste and other materials that decompose:
- food scraps
- paper towels and napkins
- soiled paper, cardboard or wax board
- floral décor
- landscape trimmings