City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Average Pounds of Recycled Materials Collected Per Customer Account Per Week 

Measure Description
This measure describes the amount of recyclable materials produced by Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) customers. Recyclable materials consist of paper, aluminum, glass, tin, and various plastics. The measure is indicative of the success of the Single-Stream Recycling Program, where all recyclable materials are collected in one cart, and the efforts of ARR to educate customers on the diversion of recyclable materials from the landfill.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated by converting total tons of recyclables collected to pounds by multiplying the tons by 2,000, then dividing that result by the average number of curbside collection customer accounts to determine average pounds of recyclables collected per customer account per year. The annual amount is then divided by 52, the number of weeks in the year. Although recycling is collected at each household every other week, this measure normalizes collection to a weekly amount in order to show better comparisons with the weekly trash and yard trimmings/organics collection measures.
FY 2015-16 Results
The average pounds of recycled materials collected per customer account per week was 11.85 compared to the goal of 12.00.
Assessment of Results
Although the average pounds of recycled material collected curbside for ARR customers increased by 1.7% from FY 2014-15 levels to 11.85 pounds, it did not reach the target of 12 pounds. Part of the increase can be attributed to a higher participation rate and increased education of ARR customers. One of the new outreach efforts in FY 2015-16 was a “Recycle Games” Council District Challenge, a competitive game to increase recycling participation citywide. Since the launch of the Single Stream Recycling program in October 2008, which allows customers to place all recyclables into one 96-gallon cart, ARR has been increasing the types of materials accepted in the recycling stream. In FY 2013-14, ARR added household rigid plastics to the recycling stream and aluminum foil and metals were added in FY 2014-15. Since FY 2009-10, recycling rates have increased 4.6% from 11.31 pounds per customer per week to 11.85 pounds.
Next Steps
In FY 2016-17, ARR anticipates adding cartons to the recycling stream. As new materials are added to the Single Stream Program, recycling pounds per customer per week are projected to increase and pounds of curbside trash per customer should decrease. In addition, ARR staff will focus on increasing residence recycling participation through a series of targeted education and outreach campaigns to achieve an increase in the recycling and waste diversion rates.
Contact Information
For more information contact Ron Romero, Collections Division Manager, at (512) 974-4353.