City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Austin Resource Recovery media line 512-974-1800
Customers asked to place carts at the curb by 5:30 a.m. on collection day
AUSTIN, TX – Austin continues to see record-breaking temperatures. Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) is now asking customers to place their carts at the curb no later than 5:30 a.m. on their scheduled collection day, effective through the end of the summer. This change allows operators, or sanitation drivers, to begin collecting recycling, composting, trash, large brush and bulk items one hour earlier, helping to prevent them from performing collections during the hottest hours of the day.
“Actions like this allow ARR to continue to provide a safe working environment for its employees while delivering award-winning service to its more than 200,000 customers,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director Ken Snipes. “We thank our operators for their hard work and our customers for making this necessary adjustment to protect our employees.”
In addition to the newly adjusted set-out time, ARR has increased the number of mandatory daily stand-downs each driver must take, from two to four. Stand-downs are required breaks that are enforced as heat rises. They provide 15 minutes for drivers to rehydrate and rest in a cool place before continuing collection. ARR drivers must stand down at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. if they are still performing collections. During these times, the City of Austin’s no idling policy is suspended to allow drivers to cool off in their vehicles. Drivers may also utilize cooling centers throughout the city.
In times of extreme heat, supervisors distribute water, electrolyte drinks and packets, and water-activated cooling apparel to help keep drivers hydrated and regulate their body temperature. All ARR employees are also required to take yearly heat awareness training ahead of the summer months.
ARR customers are encouraged to download the Austin Recycles app, available for iOS and Android, to receive reminders regarding their collection day and time.
Finally, heat safety is vital for all Austinites. For up-to-date locations and hours for cooling centers and heatwave tips, visit austintexas.gov/alerts.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimming and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to zero waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner.
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