Navigating Austin's Recycling Ordinances: A Guide for Apartment Communities

March 28, 2024
Austin recycling rules

Austin takes its reputation as an eco-friendly city seriously, and that includes making recycling accessible and easy for everyone – even apartment dwellers. The city's Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) sets out clear requirements for multi-family properties to help reduce waste and create a more sustainable future.

What You Need to Know About the URO

The URO isn't just a suggestion; it's the law.  Here's the breakdown of what it means for your apartment community:

  • Recycling is Mandatory:  You MUST provide recycling services for your residents and staff. Partnering with a reputable recycling hauler is essential. Austin Resource Recovery provides a helpful list of approved service providers on their website https://www.austintexas.gov/uro.
  • Know What to Recycle: It's not just about tossing everything blue in the bin. Acceptable materials include:
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastics #1-5 and #7
  • Metal (aluminum and steel cans)
  • Glass For a complete list and any special instructions, check out the Austin Recycles website. (Remember to remove the original link and research the official Austin Recycles resource).
  • Education is Key:  Recycling starts with your residents. Provide clear information about what's recyclable, and make sure there's informative signage. Austin Resource Recovery may have resources to help!
  • Plan for Success:  Submit a recycling plan to Austin Resource Recovery annually. This outlines your strategies for providing effective recycling services to your community.

Tips for Smooth Recycling in Your Community

  • Access is Everything: Place recycling bins right next to trash bins for maximum convenience. This encourages residents to make recycling a habit.
  • Communication Matters Include recycling information in your resident welcome package, newsletters, or community events. The more informed your residents are, the better your results.
  • Go Beyond the Bin Consider partnering with organizations like WasteFree for recycling audits or to explore additional waste reduction strategies tailored to apartment communities.

Why Bother?

Recycling isn't just about complying with the law. It's about:

  • Protecting Austin's Environment: Recycling keeps valuable resources out of landfills, conserving natural spaces and reducing pollution.
  • Community Spirit: Successful recycling programs build a sense of shared responsibility.
  • Attracting Eco-Conscious Residents: Today's renters care about sustainability. Easy recycling makes your community more appealing.

Let's Make Austin Greener, Together

Complying with Austin's Universal Recycling Ordinance benefits your apartment community, its residents, and our beautiful city. By following these guidelines and utilizing the available resources, you can make recycling a seamless part of apartment living in Austin.