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'Waste free by 2040': City enters next phase in recycling ordinance

A recycling ordinance adopted by the Austin City Council in 2012 is entering its next phase to ensure more Austin business will be in business to recycle, according to a news release Tuesday by the Austin Resource Recovery.
In the next phase of the Universal Recyling Ordinance, Austin businesses must have recycling containers within 25 feet of all trash containers.

AUSTIN -- A recycling ordinance adopted by the Austin City Council in 2012 is entering the next phase to ensure more Austin businesses will be in business to recycle, according to a news release Tuesday by the Austin Resource Recovery.

By Oct. 1, 2014, more commercial and multifamily properties will be required to offer recycling. Affected businesses include commercial properties larger than 50,000-square-feet and multifamily properties with more than 25 units. According to the city, this means more than 1,000 Austin businesses must offer recycling.

Some businesses that do not have recycling programs, such as retail stores, malls, hotels and motels, industrial facilities, restaurants, bars and grocery stores, will now be required to recycle in the next few years.

The city wants to be a zero waste city by 2040, and by Oct. 1, 2017, all businesses in Austin will be required to recycle.

In the ordinance's third year, the city will make sure businesses recycle plastics, paper, cardboard, glass and aluminum. In addition, businesses must have recycling containers within 25 feet of all trash containers, post signs, provide recycling education and submit an online report to the city documenting their recycling.

The city said it is taking steps to notify the newly affected businesses of their new recycling requirements by mailing letters to property owners, conducting site visits and providing free training sessions.

The city is inviting property managers and business owners to learn more about the new recycling requirements in a free 'Lunch & Learn' session. Go here for more information and to register. Registration for the lunch is required, and the lunch is limited to 40 people per session.

Lunch session times and locations:

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 12 to 1 p.m.
Tres Amigos Restaurant & Cantina
7535 U.S. 290 Frontage Rd

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 12 to 1 p.m.
Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar
10001 Stonelake Blvd

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, 12 to 1 p.m.
Tres Amigos Restaurant & Cantina
7535 U.S. 290 Frontage Rd

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, 12 to 1 p.m.

Don Darios Mexican Restaurant
8801 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, 12 to 1 p.m.
County Line Bar-B-Q on the Lake
5204 Ranch Road 2222

According to the city, failure to comply with the ordinance will result in a $2,000 per day, per violation fine.

Go here for more information about the recycling requirements. You can also contact the City of Austin's business outreach team at 512-974-9727 or email at commercialrecyling@austintexas.gov.

Click the player below to learn more about the Universal Recycling Ordinance: