Austin Launches Curbside Compost Program

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7,900 households will participate in Austin’s composting pilot program.

Austin, Texas has officially joined the ranks of major metropolitan areas that offer curbside compost pickup.

The eco-friendly southwestern city launched a curbside compost pilot program earlier this month, utilizing 7,900 households for the initial launch. Residents who participate will receive a 96 gallon compost cart – the same size as the city’s current household recycling bins – plus, a 2.4 gallon food receptacle for indoor food scraps like banana peels, chicken bones, egg shells and more.

The composting pilot program will roll out to a random selection of households, not just volunteers. That means the city will have to educate those participating on what can and can’t be composted, plus, how to keep a composting bin clean. Austin has distributed informational pamphlets to help composting newbies understand the need and importance of composting and what materials can be tossed into the bins, according to Austin American-Statesman.

It’s all part of the city’s plan to divert zero waste to landfills by 2040. With just 27 years to achieve that lofty goal, the city has focused on reducing waste overall. Last year Austin banned the use of plastic bags in grocery stores and other retailers, hoping it will drive up the use of reusable cloth bags.

Other major cities who offer curbside compost pickup include Portland and Salem, Ore., Boulder, Colo. and Seattle.