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Austin Resource Recovery customers can now recycle hard plastic

August 25, 2014  

AUSTIN – Austin Resource Recovery curbside customers are now able to recycle all hard plastics in their blue recycling carts along with other accepted materials at no extra cost.

In addition to plastic bottles and containers, the City’s recycling program now accepts hard plastics such as buckets, lawn chairs, laundry baskets, pet carriers, milk crates, non-battery operated toys, totes and lids, tubs, flower pots and trays, dish drainers, and trash cans. Only hard plastics are accepted; plastic foam, plastic bags, and plastic wrap are not allowed.

“Residents are sometimes confused about the types of plastic that we accept in our recycling program,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert. “We’re making it easier for our customers to identify accepted plastics, which makes it easier for them to recycle more.”

Plastics Recycling Guidelines:

Remove metal components from plastic items.

Empty and rinse items before recycling them.

Make sure all items fit inside the blue recycling cart with the lid closed.

Recyclables are collected on a biweekly basis by Austin Resource Recovery. They are then taken to one of two local facilities, Balcones Resources or Texas Disposal Systems, where they are processed and sold to manufacturers. Newly accepted hard plastics, such as laundry baskets and buckets, are typically made out of polypropylene (PP) or high density polyethylene (HDPE). These plastics can be manufactured into things like ice scrapers, rakes, battery cables, plastic lumber, fencing and more.

The recycling program expansion takes effect in the midst of the citywide Give Us 5 Challenge, which encourages Austin households to increase recycling by 5 pounds each month. The challenge serves as a reminder to residents that recyclables can be found in multiple areas of a household, not just the kitchen. The City of Austin is working toward a goal of keeping 50 percent of trash out of the landfill by 2015 and 90 percent by 2040. Currently, City of Austin curbside customers keep about 40 percent of trash out of the landfill.

Recycling more not only benefits the environment, but it also can provide a monetary benefit to curbside customers. Recycling more means wasting less, so some customers may be able to switch to a smaller trash cart size. Customers who switch from a 96-gallon trash cart to a 32-gallon trash cart save more than $225 per year on their City of Austin utility bills. To downsize your trash cart, call 512-494-9400.

In addition to the newly accepted hard plastics, Austin Resource Recovery curbside customers may continue to recycle the following items:

Plastic bottles and containers: water bottles, cleaning product bottles, yogurt tubs, and shampoo bottles

Cardboard and boxboard: corrugated cardboard and boxboard boxes, food, soda, and gift boxes

Aluminum and metals: aluminum foil (balled), aluminum baking pans, pie plates, trays, food cans, caps and lids, soda cans, steel cans, and tin cans

Paper: junk mail, envelopes, home office paper, coupons, paper bags, magazines, greeting cards, newspapers, and posters

Glass: bottles and jars

For recycling guidelines, curbside collection schedules, and an A-to-Z recycling guide, visit

Find resources for ways to recycle 5 pounds more each month at

About Austin Resource Recovery

Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Austin residents receive core services, including curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings, large brush and bulk items, street sweeping, dead animal collection, and access to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Austin Resource Recovery also provides trash and recycling collection for some small businesses located in residential areas that do not require Dumpsters and in the Downtown Austin Recycling & Trash Service District. 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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