There are quite a few things to love about Austin, Texas. Living and growing there could be one of the most unforgettable things for a child but as a grown up, it’s possible that another ‘unforgettable thing’ about Austin is the fact that the area is known for a really bad waste removal system. Who wants to deal with garbage? According to the Texas roadside cleanup organization Don’t Mess with Texas, about 827 pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roadways each year. The group says that food wrappers and tobacco products are the most common types of trash they find. As a responsible citizen though, there are a few things you can do by properly disposing of your garbage.
Help keep Austin beautiful by disposing of your waste the right way. Here are some of the things that you need to know in order to help out:
TIME: The city of Austin asks that you place your trash at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on collection day.
BASICS. Place your trash at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on collection day. If you have bags of trash that don’t fit inside your cart, place them next to the cart and tag them with an “Extra Trash” sticker. Those stickers cost about $4 and can be purchased at most local grocery stores. Failure to mark your extra trash could mean an $8-per-bag penalty fee. City officials would also like residents to place all waste containers about five feet apart to make it easier for trucks to collect them. If, for whatever reason, your trash is left behind, call Austin Resource Recovery at 311 or email them. They’ll pick up the trash as soon as possible. Oh, and for residential pickup, only dispose of regular household trash. Household chemicals, dead animals and old computer equipment should be disposed of elsewhere.
HAZARDOUS WASTE. Things such as batteries, florescent lights, paints and paint thinners, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, cleaners, ammonia and bleach, motor oil and other automotive fluids, pool chemicals, aerosol cans and photographic chemicals falls under hazardous waste. These items and things like them should go to Austin’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility, located at 2514 Business Center Drive, Austin 78744. Please note that while the facilities take most chemical trash, there are things they won’t take. Radioactive materials, tires, electronics and explosive materials are some of the materials that are not accepted. If you have questions, call ahead before you go.
RECYCLING. The city of Austin collects recycling every other week. On recycling day, make sure your items to be recycled are on the curb by 6:30 a.m. Make sure to remove all excess food from any containers before putting it out for recycling. If you can’t fit everything inside your recycling cart, place the rest of your things inside of a cardboard box or reusable container and they will be picked up at no extra charge. Also, make sure to flatten all cardboard boxes you are disposing of. If there are several boxes, flatten them and then tie them into bundles. Things that can be recycled: paper, boxboard and cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, glass and plastic containers.
Things that can’t be recycled: plastic bags, aluminum foil, Styrofoam, pizza boxes, large metal items like frying pans and metal pipes, large plastic items and wire coat hangers.
Follow this guide, because lazy garbage disposal really stinks.