Austin announces new areas to get curbside composting
City is adding 38,000 more households to the program on Oct. 2.
A few miles east of Austin, Nick Pacl stands next to a pile of trash, ripping apart plastic bags and dumping food scraps, pizza boxes and other items onto the ground.
Then he starts picking through it. It’s less than a minute before Pacl spots an empty bottle of Touraine wine. His boss, Organics By Gosh CEO Phil Gosh, grabs the offending bit of trash and shakes his head, grimacing. The bottle doesn’t belong in the garbage piles that will eventually become fertile compost.
The site is where the city hopes 38,000 more Austin households will send their banana peels, food scraps and yard trimmings come Oct. 2, when the city will roll out an expansion of Austin Resource Recovery’s curbside composting program.
Officials announced Wednesday which areas of the city will get the green carts this fall for wheeling their compostable materials to the curb. The new service areas are spread throughout the city, largely in areas next to the neighborhoods involved in the first phase of the pilot program.
The city will soon send postcards to homes in the expansion areas with information about openhouse events in August and September. Residents can also check to see if their home is included by going to austinrecycles.com.
The expansion will bring the total number of homes served by organics recycling to 52,000, with plans to expand the program to the entire city by 2020. It is a part of a goal to divert 90 percent of trash from landfills by 2040.
Austin residents with curbside trash service currently pay $1 a month for the composting program, whether they have the green bins or not. When the program goes citywide, customers will pay $4 a month for composting,
Organics By Gosh employee Nick Pacl sorts through a recent load of organic material that will be composted. Workers at the facility on FM 969 near the Texas 130 toll road pluck out bottles, cans and other items that would contaminate the fertile final product.