City of Austin Composting comes to Mueller

Taylor Youngblood Front Porch Flyer

By now you’ve seen the green compost carts invading your alleys! That’s right, curbside composting is here in Mueller! Mueller is part of the City of Austin’s Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) Phase II Curbside Composting Collection program. This new phase added 38,000 new homes to the existing 52,000 already receiving the service.

The composting program collects food scraps, yard trimmings, and food-soiled paper. They’re then converted into nutrient-rich compost. This collection is part of the City of Austin’s Zero Waste goal to divert 90 percent of materials from landfills by 2040. Unlike backyard or smaller scale composting, the City’s program is commercial scale. This makes the piles hot enough to break down complex materials, reducing what ends up in the landfill.

Items you may have had trouble composting in the past but now may include:

  • Meat, fish and chicken (raw or cooked)
  • Bones (raw or cooked)
  • Dairy products (raw or cooked)
  • Pizza boxes (the whole thing!)
  • Shredded paper! Put it in a paper grocery bag first and roll the top down.

Gross! Did you know you can also compost:

  • Hair from the shower or your hairbrush
  • Pet clippings from grooming
  • Dryer lint
  • Used cottons swabs (paper stick type only, no plastic stick type) and cotton balls

I keep a little plastic cup in my cabinet and collect these items to dump in my kitchen collector.

Carts are picked up weekly every Friday morning. Here are a few ideas to keep your bin clean:

  • Use compostable bags in a kitchen collector and/or in the cart itself.
    • Mueller HEB on Aisle 15 has the 2.6 gallon bags for your kitchen or the 33 gallon for the cart.
  • Use paper bags in the kitchen collector or a lawn and leaf bag in the cart itself.
    • Mueller HEB on Aisle 15 has paper lunch bags and 30 gallon lawn and leaf bags.
  • Many of your neighbors are planning on freezing their scraps until Friday morning. You don’t have to do this for everything, but it will help reduce odors on meat, fish, chicken, and dairy products.

You don’t have to line your cart at all if you don’t want to, and the lawn and leaf material should be placed in this new green compost cart first, ideally layered between the kitchen collections.

Information including more cleaning and storage tips, and instructions are at http://www.austintexas.gov/austincomposts.

You may also Message me on Facebook or Nextdoor if you have any questions or concerns.

Don’t forget to downsize your trash cart as you fill up your compost cart! Save money!

http://www.austintexas.gov/department/residential-rates-fees

Sign up for text alerts or calendar reminders on the weekly cart schedule, bulk and brush pickup dates, and holiday changes at http://www.austintexas.gov/page/my-collection-schedule.

The Mueller Neighborhood Association will be hosting Austin Resource Recovery in a composting presentation at the July 21 meeting. A limited supply of free kitchen collectors will be available.