Updated: Monday, 22 Apr 2013, 1:01 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 22 Apr 2013, 1:01 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) – In honor of Earth day, Austin is running a number of programs and events to foster a greener city.
One of the ways the city is working towards giving back to Mother Nature is through Austin Resource Recovery, which released its 2012 Annual Report. The report includes an overview of the department’s progress toward Zero Waste, as well as achievements in resource recovery and services provided to Austin residents and businesses.
“As the City of Austin continues to grow and expand, so does our commitment to making our city one of the most sustainable in the country,” said Austin City Manager Marc Ott. “This year, Austin Resource Recovery implemented programs that preserve the community and utilize sustainable practices, making 2012 a pivotal year.”
In the pursuit of Zero Waste, Austin Resource Recovery set into motion a series of services, programs and policies that represent the Department’s commitment to innovation, waste reduction and success.
- Diverted 38 percent of city-collected materials from the landfill
- Collected 53,943 tons of recycling, an increase from 2011
- Produced 12,767 gallons of Austin ReBlend paint, available to residents for free at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility
- Launched a new youth education program called Generation Zero, which provides Austin students and educators with awareness about recycling, composting and conservation while providing simple solutions for reducing waste
- Distributed 25,000 reusable and multiple-use bags to Austin residents
- Taught 86 free composting classes throughout Austin, teaching 19 percent more students than in 2011
Other parts of the city are contributing to a greener Austin as well. Hill Country Conservancy, along with six other environmental non-profits, is encouraging the Central Texas community to eat, shop and play to support the Fourth Annual “ Give 5% to Mother Earth ” campaign – taking place at over 200 local business locations all over Austin on Earth Day.
“This year, the ‘Give 5’ campaign has simply grown to a new level,” said George Cofer, Executive Director of Hill Country Conservancy. “With the number of new businesses and sponsors involved, as well as additional non-profit beneficiaries, the campaign has become a significant source of funding for our environmental community, as well as a model for similar programs around the nation.
Since inception, the campaign has doubled in size each year. In its entirety, the campaign has raised over $100,000 for environmental non-profits that work year round to better the local environment in multiple ways. By participating in this campaign, local business owners and the community are making contributions to Austin’s natural resources.
For more a full list of participating businesses and “Give 5% to Mother Earth” events, visit AustinGive5.com .
Additionally, students can get involved in Earth Day at The University of Texas at Austin, who’s Division of Housing and Food Service hosting “Earth Week.”
Kicking off their week on Sunday, The Daily Texan reports that students volunteered to add mulch, new compost and a trellis for climbing plants to grow on to Kinsolving Dining Hall’s garden. On Monday, students will follow up its gardening event with an Earth Day Carnival on Gregory Plaza.
The rest of “Earth Week” will consist of a large range of events meant to increase environmental awareness amongst the community. Their agenda is listed here .