New rules will go into effect in 2024
AUSTIN, TX – The City of Austin will require composting collection at all multifamily communities starting in October 2024. The Austin City Council unanimously approved the amendment to the Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023.
Multifamily properties with five or more dwelling units will be required to provide tenants and employees convenient access to commercial composting services, including one gallon of composting capacity per unit, with no overflowing containers. Properties will need to accept certain materials for composting, including food scraps, food-soiled paper and BPI-certified compostable products. Properties will also be required to provide education to tenants and employees, make sure signs and labels are on all composting containers and fill out a plan each year.
The new composting rules go into effect Oct. 1, 2024. Multifamily properties, which include apartments, condos, dorms, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, will have one year to comply.
A 2015 Community Diversion Study found that 85% of material generated in Austin came from the commercial and multifamily sector and that 37% was compostable.
“More than half of Austinites live in multifamily communities but most don’t have access to composting collection services,” says Richard McHale, Director for Austin Resource Recovery. “Keeping food scraps and other organic material out of the landfill is important to make the most out of the planet’s finite resources and to help Austin reach its zero waste goal.”
Up to $3,000 in rebates are available to eligible properties to start or expand composting service before the requirement goes into effect. Properties must have their recycling plan completed prior to applying for the Zero Waste Business Rebate. Expenses could include indoor collection bins, compostable bags and monthly hauling service until the new composting rules go into effect. Applicants must apply and be approved for the rebate before starting service or making a purchase. Applications must be submitted before July 1, 2024.
Property owners and managers can visit austintexas.gov/multifamilycompost to learn more about the new rules.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) is a department of the City of Austin. We provide essential services that protect people and our planet. We collect recycling, composting, trash, large brush, bulk items and dead animals. We also sweep the streets, recycle and safely dispose of household hazardous waste, and provide community outreach and education. ARR is driving the global transformation of traditional waste management to sustainable resource recovery. Learn more at austinrecycles.com.