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Recycle on the go

We’ve all been there.

You know how it is. You’re walking around downtown with an empty water bottle in your hand, desperately searching for a place to recycle it. You run towards every trash can you see, hoping that it’s the recycling bin of your dreams, only to be disappointed.

Well Austin, your prayers have been answered. Downtown Austin now has public recycling bins on dozens of its city street corners.

It’s all part of an initiative that Austin Resource Recovery has dubbed, “Recycle on the Go.”

“Austin’s goal is Zero Waste by 2040, and the availability of recycling in public spaces is an important piece of our strategy to meet that goal,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler at a press conference to announce the expansion of Recycle on the Go. “Increasing access to recycling while raising awareness is crucial to building a sustainable downtown.”

The project first began last year with a small pilot program. This summer it is expanding throughout downtown Austin, along Congress Avenue and parts of 2nd and 3rd streets. All told, there will be 50 new recycling cans downtown, and there are plans to install even more over the next three years.

Considering the fact that 120,000 people work in downtown Austin, and 20 million people people visit Austin each year (many of whom visit the downtown area), these recycling bins are certainly needed.

“Recycle on the Go gives all of these people – people who work here, people who live here, people who are visiting – gives all these people a convenient opportunity to act in an environmentally conscious and responsible way,” Adler said.

Mayor recycles

The recycling bins are all outfitted with blue dome tops to distinguish them from the trash cans. They are also all single-stream receptacles, but the city is especially encouraging people to use them to recycle bottles and cans.

The entire initiative is supported by the Downtown Austin Alliance, which is working with the City of Austin to provide increased recycling options, and to educate residents, workers, and visitors about the service.

“We ask everyone to help further our city’s Zero Waste goals by recycling on the go in these blue domes,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert. “Please make sure to look for these, and keep an eye open for these cans.”