Friday, November 12, 2021

Celebrate America Recycles Day by Ditching Plastic Film



Austin Resource Recovery offers collection events and education for this problematic plastic
This America Recycles Day, November 15, Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) takes on problematic plastic film.
 
"As the City presses forward toward a zero-waste future, the obstacle of hard-to-recycle plastics looms large," said Austin Resource Recovery Director Ken Snipes. "Learning how to remove these items from our trash and recycling carts and dispose of them correctly serves to reduce plastic contamination, teaches residents about environmentally friendly and waste-free alternatives, and most importantly decreases the amount material in local landfills."
 
Plastic film – such as grocery bags, plastic wrap, used zip-top bags, or pillow-plastic packaging – is a stretchy, single-use plastic not accepted in a resident's blue recycling cart. When placed in the blue cart, this plastic poses a threat to recycling facilities by becoming intertwined in the gears of the machinery, stalling operations, and causing a safety hazard for employees (who must manually remove these items from the gears). Plastic film placed in brown trash carts goes directly to the landfill where it will not break down.
 
In celebration of America Recycles Day, several of ARR's dedicated Zero Waste Block Leaders are helping to keep plastic film out of the landfill by hosting neighborhood, plastic film collection events throughout the city. Find a collection event near you here or email block.leader@austintexas.gov.
 
Austinites can also dispose of their plastic film by scheduling a drop-off at the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (RRDOC). Last year, 24.5 tons (the equivalent of 49,000 pounds) of plastic film was collected at the RRDOC. Many local grocery and retail locations also offer plastic film recycling.

As part of the U.S. Plastics Pact, the City of Austin is committed to educating the community about plastic film. For more on America Recycles Day, plastic recycling in Austin, and what you can do to make a difference, visit austintexas.gov/plastic.


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. Austin Resource Recovery offers free, voluntary and confidential consulting services to help Austin businesses reduce waste and comply with the City's recycling ordinances. 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. Learn more at austinrecycles.com.

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