For all the avid recyclers out there who are suffering from multiple blue bin clutter, good news is on the way. The City of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department has announced a new program that will replace the blue bins with 90-gallon carts that can be filled with all recyclables, including new items like cereal boxes.
The new recycling plan, set to begin in October and rolled out over three months, coincides with Austin's recent announcement to create a zero-waste plan. The 32 year strategy aspires to reach some lofty goals including plans to reduce the garbage we send to landfills by 20 percent per capita by 2012. The new carts were tested in a pilot program for over 5,000 homes which ultimately increased the amount and frequency they recycled. According to the Statesman:
Under the new system, recycling collection will occur once every two weeks, instead of weekly, which is expected to lead to savings on gasoline and reduce harmful emissions. Also, rather than workers lifting recycling bins manually, newly outfitted trucks will pick up the carts and dump the recycling inside. "We'll be able to recycle more stuff, and we'll be able to pick the equipment up without literally hurting the backs of our crews," Mayfield said. "We're going to be getting more (recycling) at one time, and we're hoping to have the trucks on the streets less."
Streamlined facilities, less congestion on the streets, and more user-friendly carts - sounds like a recycling dream come true!