Austin unveils Zero Waste Initiative

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by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 3 at 6:22 PM

AUSTIN -- In a city growing by the day, one can’t help but try and see what Austin’s future holds. For Austinites, part of that future could look a lot like the Wheatsville Co-Op of today.

The business focuses on locally-grown products with a sustainable attitude. Even those eating outside see marked recycling bins. 

"I think a lot of it has to do with how easy it is," said customer Tom Hilde. "I know a lot of places in Austin that don’t have recycling bins."
 
No food goes to any landfill, it comes to Resolution Farms instead. 

"Why send perfectly good food waste that turns into compost to the landfill," said Allen Schroeder with Break It Down Compost Company.

"We are a model city with a community that has a value towards greening itself," said Bob Gedert, director of Austin's Resource Recovery. "This is not a community that’s resistant to change, this is a community that’s asking for change."
 
Thursday, Gedert shared with KVUE Austin's Zero Waste Initiative. The goal is to only send five percent of all waste to landfills by 2040. That starts with recycling. Plans include weekly recycling bin pickups instead of every two weeks and more recycling options. Part two, means more composting.

"The goal for Austin is zero waste," said Schroeder. "The only way for that to be achieved is for all the food waste to go somewhere."
 
Perhaps the biggest challenge of all is changing a consumer mindset.

"It takes a change at the consumer level," said Gedert. "That way we’re not buying disposables that we throw away when we’re done. We buy durable goods that last a long time and can be passed on to future generations."

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