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Recycle or trash? Study finds Austin’s recycling rules confusing

Recycle or trash? Study finds Austin’s recycling rules confusing


ATTACKS.2-SALLY:DID YOU KNOW THAT 90 PERCENT OF THE ITEMS YOU USE IN YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW CAN EITHER BE PUT INTO THE COMPOST BIN, RECYCLED OR REUSED.2-JOHN:BUT IT TURNS OUT NOT EVERYONE IS RECYCLING AND THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS PLANNING TO CHANGE IT ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO USE THOSE BIG BLUE BINS. KATE WEIDAW IS LIVE IN AUSTIN WITH THE DETAILSKATE:ALL OVER DOWNTOWN YOU SEE A RECYCLING BIN NEXT TO A TRASH CAN.BUT A NEW STUDY FROM THE CITY FOUND A LOT OF WHAT’S GOING INTO THE RECYCLING BIN CAN’T ACTUALLY BE RECYCLED – OR AUSTINITES JUST AREN’T INTERESTED IN RECYCLING.A BIG PROBLEM WITH THE CITY TRYING TO ACHIEVE ZERO WASTE BY 2040.CITY LEADERS SAY THE AMOUNT OF TRASH BEING DIVERTED FROM THE LANDFILL FELL STAGNATE SO THEY SET OUT TO FIND OUT WHY AND WENT INTO THE HOMES OF ALMOST 100 AUSTINITES TO SEE HOW THEY RECYCLED.THEY DISCOVERED SOME PEOPLE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT RECYCLING WHILE OTHERS WERE CONFUSED ON WHAT PLASTICS OR PAPER COULD GO INTO THE SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING.FOR EXAMPLE, WHILE PAPER CAN BE RECYCLED IF IT HAS ANY TYPE OF FOOD ON IT – THE RECYCLING SORTING MACHINE WILL SEND IT TO THE LANDFILL BECAUSE BACTERIA CAN GROW ON IT AND A COMPANY THAT BUYS RECYCLED PAPER WOULDN’T WANT IT.SO THEY CAME UP WITH SOME SOLUTIONS LIKE A DUAL RECYCLING TRASH CAN FOR THOSE WITH LITTLE SPACE IN AN APARTMENT – THOSE IN THE STUDY USED IT AND THIS COULD BE AVAILABLE TO AUSTINITES THROUGH A VOUCHER PROGRAM IN THE NEXT YEAR.RESEARCHERS ALSO FOUND A SORTING GUIDE HELPED THOSE CONFUSED FIGURE OUT WHAT GOES WHERE.KATHERINE DUONG/DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FELLOW”WE FOUND THE RECYCLING RULES IN AUSITN ARE SO CONFUSING THAT ALMOST NOBODY DOES IT PERFECTLY. EVEN THE MOST ADVANCED RECYCLERS HAVE QUESTIONS.”RON NEWMOND/WASTE DIVERSION PLANNER, PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT “THIS HAS REALLY CHANGED HOW WE THINK IN OUR DEPARTMENT AND IT’S GOING TO CHANGE HOW WE DO OUR OUTREACH AND SO IT’S GOING TO BE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONVERSATION.”KATE:OUTREACH IS GOING TO BE THE KEY HERE AND TARGETING PEOPLE WHO AREN’T INTERESTED IN RECYCLING TO THOSE WHO THINK THEY ARE DOING A GOOD JOB. IT SEEMS LIKE IT WAS ALMOST ASSUMED BEFORE THAT BECAUSE WE LIVE IN AUSTIN WE WOULD WANT TO RECYCLE AND THAT’S NOT THE CASE.SO I THOUGHT I WAS A PRETTY EDUCATED RECYCLER BEFORE I DID THIS STORY – I FIGURED OUT I WASN’T.SO HERE’S A QUESTION FOR YOU – CAN YOUR COFFEE QUESTION FOR YOU – CAN YOUR COFFEE CUPS BE RECYCLED? LOOK AT THE SCREEN FOR THE ANSWER.BACK TO YOU.

1 comment on “Recycle or trash? Study finds Austin’s recycling rules confusing

  1. Coffee cups can't be recycled because they are lined with plastic. Being dirty has nothing to do with it. Nothing could be recycled if it couldn't be dirty.

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