City hopes to reduce contamination found in recycling streams
AUSTIN, TX – This America Recycles Day, Nov. 15, Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) aims to raise awareness about contamination in Austin’s residential recycling stream and why it is a problem.
Recent composition studies show a residential recycling contamination rate of almost 20%, which means nearly 1/5 of everything in Austin’s blue recycling carts was either trash or not recyclable at the facility.
Among the most troublesome contaminants are “tanglers,” which are items such as plastic bags, garden hoses, textiles, rope and other flexible and/or stretchy materials. Tanglers pose a threat to recycling facilities by becoming intertwined in the gears of the machinery, stalling operations and causing a safety hazards for employees (who must manually remove these items from the gears). “By removing tanglers from Austin’s recycling stream, we can reduce contamination, increase productivity at the recycling facilities and help Austin reach its zero waste goal by 2040,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director, Ken Snipes.
Other common contaminants include food, Styrofoam and wood.
ARR aims to “Untangle ATX” and reduce recycling contamination by encouraging Austinites to search the “What Do I Do With…?“ tool at Austinrecycles.com, or like Austin Recycles on Facebook, to learn how to properly dispose of their unwanted items.
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 trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. Austin Resource Recovery offers free, voluntary, and confidential consulting services to help Austin businesses reduce waste and comply with the City’s recycling ordinances. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s road map to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040. Learn more at austinrecycles.com