With the launch of not one, but two composting programs in Mueller this summer, the neighborhood is another step closer to reaching our goal of becoming a zero-waste community.
Invasion of the little green bins
The City of Austin started the curbside composting program in 2013 in a few pockets of the city. Last month, Mueller residents received their green bins to start composting, which means all of your food and yard waste can go to a composting facility to be turned into a useful soil amendment rather than going into the landfill, where the food rots and emits greenhouse gasses. The bins get picked up once a week, on the same day as your regular trash collection.
What are you allowed to put the green bin? A lot. So much so, it’s probably more useful to outline what can’t go in the bin:
- No cat litter, cigarette butts, diapers, pet waste, animal carcasses, rocks, wine corks, styrofoam or other trash.
- You can compost meat, but you shouldn’t put bacon grease and other oil in the bin.
- The only plastic bags you can use are the small BPI-certified compostable bags.
If you’ve done composting before, you may know it can get a little messy, but Austin Resource Recovery has some handy tips on how to keep your bin fresh:
- Layer food scraps with yard trimmings and/or newspaper in the green bin
- Keep food scraps in the freezer until collection day
- Sprinkle baking soda in the bin
- Periodically wash the bin with mild soap and water
In Mueller, there is more than one way to send your food waste back from whence it came.
Recently, the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller , in partnership with Joe’s Organics, started the Mueller Backyard Community Composting initiative. Every Sunday under the historic Browning Hanger, everyone is welcome to drop off their frozen compost scraps (no meat, dairy or trash please) free of charge during farmers’ market hours (10am-2pm).