City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Average Pounds of Trash Per Customer Account Per Week

Measure Description
The measurement of average pounds of trash per residential customer account per week is indicative of the waste generation rates of Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) customers. The measurement includes both residential and the small amount of commercial cart accounts that are serviced by ARR. The measure is important in the evaluation of the success of ARR's Zero Waste programs.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated by converting total tons of curbside trash collected to pounds by multiplying total tons by 2,000, then dividing that result by the average number of curbside collection customer accounts to get average pounds of trash collected per customer account per year. The annual amount is then divided by the number of weeks in the reporting period.
FY 2015-16 Results
ARR collected an average of 25.69 pounds of trash per customer in FY 2015-16, which is higher than the established goal of 21 pounds and 0.56 pounds lower than last fiscal year.
Assessment of Results
The above chart illustrates that the average amount of trash collected per account has remained fairly consistent over the past three years. ARR’s goal is to continue to decrease the amount of materials sent to the landfill in order to reach Zero Waste by 2040, keeping at least 90% of discarded materials out of the landfill. The average pounds of trash per residential customer account per week collected did not reach the FY 2015-16 goal of 21 pounds or less. The FY 2015-16 goal was set aggressively to align with the milestones that the Department should meet in order to reach the City’s long-term waste diversion goal of 90%. In FY 2015-16, ARR collected 129,266 tons of trash from 193,519 customers. In order to achieve the City’s long-term Zero Waste goals, ARR must continue to identify opportunities to reduce the volume of trash that is disposed by increasing the number of items that can be recycled and increasing public education and outreach for the city’s rapidly growing population.
Next Steps
ARR will continue to focus on increasing the diversion rate by decreasing the materials sent to the landfill. ARR commissioned a waste composition study of the residential trash sent to landfills and is using those results to guide future efforts. The results of this waste study demonstrate that 44% of residential trash sent to the landfill is recyclable while 46% is compostable. ARR staff will use the results of this study to identify recyclables sent to the landfill through the trash collection system, and target education to residents to throw these recyclables into the blue recycling cart. In addition, ARR plans to begin implementation of the Curbside Organics Collection program citywide with a multi-year phased-in approach in FY 2016-17, which will reduce trash volumes sent to the landfill.
Contact Information
For more information contact Ron Romero, Collections Division Manager, at (512) 974-4353.