Report On Our June 7th Symposium

We had a great presentation, Tuesday, June 7th, from City of Austin Solid Waste Services Senior Planner, Woody Raine, P.E. 

Great attendance, too – with 15 new faces in the audience! Below are pertinent highlights from Woody’s presentation. 

Woody Raine, P.E. 
(Senior Planner, City of Austin Solid Waste Services Dept.)

FACTS

  • Austin is large and growing
  • City limits population = 790,000 (2010 census)
  • Annual city budget = $1.8B
  • Austin Solid Waste Services
  • 180,000 residential customers
  • 2200+ commercial customers (small percentage of small generators)
  • 300 collection trucks
  • 5 landfills in CAPCOG region - http://www.capcog.org/


ABOUT CITY

  • Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer, is central manager of  City’s environmental stewardship, overseeing departments such as: 
  • Solid Waste Services, Green Building, Green Purchasing, Watershed Protection, Electricity, etc. 
  • Learn more via Austin Office of Sustainability www.ci.austin.tx.us/sustainability


ABOUT RECYCLING FOR CONGREGATIONS

Congregations can subscribe to Commercial Solid Waste Services & Recycling, today:  

  • www.cityofaustin.org/sws/commercial_garbage.htm
  • Call 311 for service

Note: the City offers free waste reduction consulting and information - www.cityofaustin.org/sws/commercial_wrap.htm 

Also, WasteSMART Partners showcase leading commercial waste diverters, WasteSMART - www.cityofaustin.org/sws/commercial_wastesmart.htm

MORE ABOUT RECYCLING FOR CONGREGATIONS

Current recycling ordinance: Since April 1999 

Applies to apartments 100+ units & commercial properties 100+ employees

New Recycling Ordinance – “Universal Recycling Ordinance” (URO) – a significant step toward the City’s Zero Waste goals

Phase 1, Effective October 2012 – Multi-family & commercial (incl. churches)

Floor Space

  • >100,000 sq ft (effective October 2012)
  • > 75,000 square feet (effective October 2013)
  • > 50,000 square feet (effective October 2014)
  • > 26,000 square feet (effective October 2015)

Materials

  • Paper
  • Plastics #1 & #2
  • Corrugated boxes
  • Aluminum, steel and tin cans
  • Glass bottles and jars


Phase 2 – after October 2012

Restaurants, food/beverage industry, grocers/retailers, industrial/manufacturing


Phase 3 – research

Construction and demolition debris

Learn more about the URO - www.cityofaustin.org/sws/downloads/uro_summary.pdf



The City will begin phasing in its new "universal recycling" ordinance, Fall 2012. 


WHAT CAN I DO? 


The City will begin phasing in its new "universal recycling" ordinance, Fall 2012. 


WHERE ARE WE GOING?

Zero Waste by 2040

Zero Waste Goals 

  • 75% reduction of landfill disposal by 2020
  • 90% reduction of landfill disposal by 2040

Zero Waste Plan

  • Council adopted in Jan 2009
  • Residential programs will target: single stream recycling, organics & compostables harvesting, household hazardous waste processing
  • Commercial/Multi-Family/(houses of worship): 

Benefits of Zero Waste

  • Extends landfill life
  • Conserves materials resources
  • Conserves energy & water
  • Reduces pollution
  • Reduces greenhouse gases
  • Boosts the economy
  • Provides employment


CONCERNS EXPRESSED 

The group voiced various concerns about doing more and being proactive towards the Faith community. City needs: 

• More emphasis on commercial composting facilities

• More emphasis on regional and local recycling/waste composting

• More emphasis on serving houses of worship

OVERALL: 

A very informative, positive, and engaging presentation. Lots of gratitude for Woody’s presentation skills and leadership and to the City of Austin Solid Waste Services Department for helping to reduce our community’s negative impacts on the Creation. 

Learn more via, City of Austin Solid Waste Services Department: http://austinrecycles.com, (512) 494-9400. 

POSTED BY CHRIS SEARLES AND WOODY RAINE


© 2013 Interfaith Environmental Network