You can pick up city-provided blue bins at any local fire station (or call 311 for more info). Here's what you can recycle: glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles with No. 1 or No. 2 on the bottom, metal cans, and empty aerosol cans. In a separate bin or brown paper grocery bag place: paper, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, and sticky notes. Corrugated cardboard should be flattened and folded into 2-foot-by-2-foot squares, bundled with twine or string, and placed next to the bin. Ecology Action (www.ecology-action.org) at Ninth and I-35 recycles a broader range of paper and plastic.
Yard trimmings are easily composted and don't belong in the landfill, where their decomposition emits potent greenhouse gases. The city offers a separate collection for items like grass clippings and leaves, which should be placed in reusable containers (e.g., clean trash cans) or tall brown paper bags available at most hardware and grocery stores, and placed curbside on recycling day. Keep bags off the street when rain is expected. Small branches shorter than 5 feet and less than 3 inches thick should be tied in bundles. Look for large-brush-collection notices twice a year in the mail.
It is very detrimental to throw certain chemicals into the garbage – not only for you but for trash handlers and the environment. The city operates a hazardous-waste drop-off facility at 2514 Business Center Dr., open noon-6pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the first Saturday of each month, 7am-noon. The facility accepts up to 30 gallons or 300 pounds of the following materials: paint, paint thinner and solvents, pool chemicals, automotive fluids, cleaning products, weed killers, pesticides, fertilizers, batteries, mercury thermometers, and compact-fluorescent and fluorescent lightbulbs. More info at 974-4343.
For more info visit www.austinrecycles.com or call 311.
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