In celebration of Reuse Day, Austin encourages all residents, businesses and organizations to seek out reuse opportunities through buying reused, repurposed and upcycled items, or repairing, sharing and renting. Austinites can easily find these opportunities through the Shop Zero Waste initiative, which lists local businesses that sell recycled or reused items or offer repair or sharing services. Prospective customers can visit LocallyAustin.org to find these businesses or look for the Shop Zero Waste decal in storefronts.
Soon, Austin residents will also have an easy way to find new homes for their unwanted items. The Austin Reuse Directory, a comprehensive listing of local donation and resale options, will go live in early November. Sign up to be notified of the launch athttp://austinreusedirectory.
“It’s very likely that you are reusing in your daily life without even thinking about it,” said Natalie Betts, Recycling Economic Development Program Manager with Austin Resource Recovery & the Economic Development Department. “If you have ever repurposed a yogurt tub as a food storage container, used old newspapers instead of bubble wrap, donated used clothing to a charity, sold an old couch to a neighbor, or reused a gift bag, you are already part of Austin’s reuse movement. We hope the Shop Zero Waste and Austin Reuse Directory tools help everyone find new ways to keep up the good work.”
The City also supports reuse through its Recycle and Reuse Drop-Off Center and the Austin Materials Marketplace and through events like Thursday’s Feeding The 5,000 which rescued 700 pounds of food that would otherwise have been sent to landfills.
Reuse is an important component of Austin’s overall Zero Waste strategy, which sets a goal of 25,000 tons of diversion through reuse by 2030.
Editor’s Note: The following is a list of ways Austinites can support the reuse economy:
- Car-sharing and bike-sharing
- Donating to and shopping at thrift stores
- Using rechargeable batteries
- Bringing your own coffee mug to the coffee shop
- Sharing yard tools with your neighbors
- Checking books out from the library or donating books to Recycled Reads
- Creating decorative mirrors from bicycle wheels or making robots from discarded computer parts.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s road map to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner.
About the Recycling Economic Development Program
Two City of Austin departments, Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department, have teamed up to launch the Recycling Economic Development Program. The program’s mission is to attract, retain and grow Zero Waste businesses and entrepreneurs in order to create local jobs and foster a resilient Zero Waste ecosystem in Central Texas.