Austin's Zero Waste Plan addresses both upstream and downstream policy and program options; green business, green buildings, and jobs; as well as regional coordination.

Austin's Zero Waste Plan takes into consideration Austin's current and planned public and private solid waste infrastructure, as well as our city's Climate Protection Program. Recommendations developed through this process are integral to achieve the U.N. Urban Environmental Accord's goal to reduce by 20% the per capita solid waste disposal to landfills by 2012 and Zero Waste by 2040.

To implement the Zero Waste Plan, Austin will focus first on:

Leading by example. Evaluate departmental waste streams for baseline data and future monitoring within one year of adoption of the Plan. Within three years of adoption of the Plan, frame, develop and implement, where appropriate and feasible, waste diversion programs with input from City Departments.
Evaluating the Commercial and Multi-family Recycling Regulations. Consider and implement proactive education and enforcement methods for the Commercial and Multi-family Recycling regulations. Develop and present to City Council City Code amendments as necessary to require recycling at all commercial enterprises and multi-family residences and include them in the stakeholder process. The proposed City Code amendments should become effective in phases over a three year period.
Outreach. Reach out to institutions, industrial facilities, and manufacturers, to encourage them to adopt and implement zero waste goals.
Promoting composting. Promote composting to remove organic material and compostables from landfills, which is necessary to reduce methane and carbon emissions. First, identify the best strategies to promote on-site composting at work and home. Second, evaluate infrastructure for residential curbside, commercial, and institutional composting; develop strategies to increase composting capacity; and implement a pilot curbside composting program when composting capacity is available.
 




Rethink – what can you do differently?
Before you buy an item, or use and discard one, ask yourself:


Can I buy this product with less packaging, no packaging or in a refillable container?
Can I or someone else use this again?
Will the manufacturer take this product back at the end of its life?
Can I recycle this after I use it?
Learn more about How to Produce Less Garbage.

Reduce – generate less garbage
Buy products that are made to last.
Avoid excess packaging and buy in bulk or the largest container possible
Use reusable products, such as:
Reusable grocery bags instead of disposable
Reusable water bottles and coffee mugs
Cloth towels instead of paper towels
Cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
Reusable containers instead of plastic bags
Rechargeable batteries instead of disposable
Reuse – extend the life of what you have
Donate unwanted items - try to separate usable items from non-usable items and find ways to donate them locally:

Charity – Goodwill, Salvation Army etc.
Thrift Stores
Online Communities – Freecycle, Craig’s list etc.
Recycle – close the loop
Recycle as much as possible!
Paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, glass and tin
Plastic bags (grocery or dry cleaner)
Hangers (dry cleaner)
Buy goods packaged in recycled and recyclable materials.
Compost – "Nature's Recycling Program" recycle your food scraps into soil for your garden
Read more about the Benefits of Recycling.


In general, Green Building improves indoor air quality, health, and the productivity of its occupants. They last a longer time, require fewer resources to develop and are usually more aesthetically pleasing. Resale values of Green buildings are usually greater than those that are conventionally built.

When we consider the cost benefits of Green Building on energy savings, worker productivity, safer indoor air quality for tenants and homeowners, longevity of the building, small environmental footprint, etc., then the initial expenses don't seem so great. Green products may cost more initially, but in the long run, they will often save or make you money. Here are three examples:

Example 1) Suppose a landlord buys some paint to repair an apartment before a new tenant moves in. If the paint triggers an allergic reaction, then the tenant decides to move out, the landlord must refund the money and advertise for

What is in the works?

Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling Ordinance Reform
Residential and Commercial/Multi-family recycling both play an integral part in achieving this goal. The current Commercial/Multi-family recycling ordinance (PDF, 113 KB) requires certain apartment complexes and businesses to provide on-site recycling services for their customers and tenants. On August 20, 2009, the Austin City Council passed a resolution (PDF, 60 KB) directing the Recycling Ordinance Reform Subcommittee of the Solid Waste Advisory Commission to work with staff and stakeholders to recommend amendments to the current ordinance that reflect additional measures for reducing waste disposal and increasing recycling, reuse, and composting in the City of Austin.

Composting Initiatives
By recycling the organic waste created by your household into compost, it allows you to return badly needed organic matter to your soil. In this way, we participate in nature’s cycle, and cut down on garbage going into burgeoning landfills. And, unlike some fertilizers, compost will not run off your yard and pollute Austin's creeks and waterways. Learn more about composting.

Recycling at Events
Green events at city facilities – City ordinance has mandated that we try to minimize the amount of trash going into landfills by providing recycling services at city co-sponsored events. We recruit volunteers to act as Environmental Ambassadors at these events and also encourage the vendors to abide by green practices provided to them.

Office Stream Recycling – Recycling at City Facilities
At the City of Austin, we lead by example. Office Stream recycling enables city employees to easily recycle all the items that are accepted in residential curbside recycling. With recycling containers available desk side and in common areas, city facilities and buildings are doing their part to meet Austin’s Zero Waste goal.

FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION ON AUSTIN'S INNOVATIVE ZERO WASTE PLAN CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW>

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Helpful green building links

GREEN BUILDING DEFINED

Environmentally Friendly Green Mom?
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Is Building Green Expensive?

Why build Green?

Green Air conditioning & Heating Green Energy Audit Certification

Building Green is a MUST

Austin TX Photos

Wikipedia- What's Green?

Step by step Building Green

Green Design Concepts

video             Global Warming

.................Did You know??  

Building Green PRINCIPLES

Cork Flooring

Bamboo Flooring

Marmoleum Flooring

VOCs in Paint

Eco Friendly Siding

Green Roof

LIVE Green Roof

Green Walls

Green Rated Windows

Countertops

Dual Flush Toilets

Solar Panels

Green Bulbs

Insulation

Earth Blocks

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8 types of Renewable energy

Bio-fuel & Biomass

Biogas

Distributed/Embedded Generation

Fuel Cell/ Hydrogen / Batteries

Energy from Waste

Solar

Water (hydro, Tidal, wave)

Wind

Residential & Commercial Recycling

 

 

 

 

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