New recycling rules, aiming to divert 90 percent of waste from Austin landfills by 2040, go into effect today.
The new ordinance requires more office buildings and apartments to provide recycling opportunities to employees and tenants. Apartments with 75 or more units, and commercial buildings 100,000 square feet and larger, now have to offer recycling in addition to waste disposal.
Each year, this ordinance will tighten to include smaller properties. By October 2013 it will encompass apartments with 50 or more units, and commercial properties of 75,000 square feet and larger. By 2014, it will include apartments with 26 or more units and properties 50,000 square feet and up.
The city is likely to expand this ordinance to other businesses within the next year.
By 2013, restaurants, grocers, retail businesses, hotels and industrial facilities may be placed under new recycling requirements. By 2015 the ordinance will affect 4,500 new properties, and by 2016 the city may start collecting organic material for compost. And in March 2013, the city is phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags.