Keep Austin Beautiful is at the forefront of zero waste education and helping Austin meet its 2040 “Zero Waste Goal” of reducing the amount of “trash” sent to landfills by 90 percent! In two years, the Generation Zero program has educated 12,000 youth about recycling, composting, and conservation. Through hands-on and interactive activities, Keep Austin Beautiful is helping youth develop a strong respect for the environment empowering them to discover and implement simple solutions for reducing their waste.
So when the City launched the Austin Recycles Games, Keep Austin Beautiful was a natural partner. The challenge is a four-month competition from December to March initiated by Austin Resource Recovery as a way of increasing residential recycling rates and helping residents understand what is and is not recyclable in the city.
At the onset of the challenge, District 10 was in the lead with an average recycling rate of 62.29 pounds per household. District 9 is in close second with an average of 55.9 pounds of recycling per household and all other districts hover at recycling 40 to 50 pounds per household. By finding a home for waste beyond the landfill, recyclables can be reintroduced into the market and organic materials transformed into soil, compost, and mulch.
Education is a key component to proper recycling. “Keep Austin Beautiful is excited to highlight school recycling efforts each month of the competition to showcase how student leaders are encouraging their neighbors to win the Austin Recycles Games, motivating their families to increase recycling rates at home, and moving the city closer to its zero-waste goal,” noted executive director Rodney Ahart. The winning districts will receive a beautification project for a library or public park. We will have to wait until Earth Day, April 23, 2016 to find out who is in the bin for the win.
Update 2/27/16: Eastside Memorial High School is our first featured school for Austin Recycle Games Challenge. Check out our blog on how these students practice recycling.
Update 4/4/16: Clint Small Middle School works hard at efforts to recycle. Check them out on their blog & learn more about how Small Middle School students work hard to win the Austin Recycle Games Challenge on our blog!