City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Average Pounds of Yard Trimmings/Organics Collected Per Customer Account Per Week 

Measure Description
This measure describes the amount of compostable yard trimmings and organics collected at the curb produced by Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) customers. Household organics include yard trimmings for all customers composed of grass clippings, leaves, and small branches or limbs that are composted and made into “Dillo Dirt” as well as food scraps, food-soiled paper, and other organic materials that are composted for a limited customer pilot program.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated by converting total tons of yard trimmings and household generated organics collected to pounds by multiplying total tons by 2,000, then dividing that result by the average number of curbside collection customer accounts to determine average pounds of yard trimmings and organics collected per customer account per year. The annual amount is then divided by 52, the number of weeks in the year. Yard trimmings and organics are collected at each household every week.
FY 2015-16 Results
The average pounds of yard trimmings and organics collected per customer account per pickup was 6.56 pounds, which was 0.86 pounds above the goal.

Assessment of Results
Most likely a factor of favorable weather conditions, ARR was able to highly exceed the goal of 5.7 pounds for FY 2015-16. There were 35,557 tons of organics processed in FY 2015-16, up from 34,707 tons in FY 2014-15. Although yard trimmings volume is highly variable depending upon temperatures, severe weather and resident participation among ARR’s approximately 190,000 customers, a large portion of this improvement can be attributed to the education initiatives that ARR has engaged in. These initiatives have brought more awareness to the City’s Zero Waste goal and the ways in which citizens can contribute to reaching that goal. In addition, the organics food waste collection pilot program was launched in December 2013 with approximately 7,900 customers, with another 6,400 customers added in February 2014. In FY 2015-16, 4,427 tons of organics were collected from 14,322 organics pilot customers. Since FY 2009-10, the average pounds of yard waste/organics collected per customer has increased 36%, from 4.84 to 6.56.
Next Steps
To achieve a higher average pounds of organics collected per household, ARR is developing plans to expand the food waste pilot organics collection service to more customers in the coming years. In the summer of 2017, ARR will add another 38,000 customers. Adding more customers will increase the volume of organics collection and, in turn, will reduce the tonnage of trash that is landfilled. ARR plans to implement the curbside food waste organics collection program citywide with a multi-year, phased-in approach which will increase the diversion rate of organics.
Contact Information
For more information contact Richard McHale, Division Manager, at (512) 974-4301.