Austin, Texas, passes C&D recycling ordinance

Austin, Texas, passes C&D recycling ordinance

New law will take effect in October 2016.

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November 25, 2015

Austin City Council in Austin, Texas, has passed an ordinance intended to increase the reuse and recycling of materials from construction and demolition projects. The ordinance had been under discussion in the summer of 2015, including comments made by a skeptical demolition contractor.

With the ordinance passed, beginning Oct. 1, 2016, the city of Austin will require 50 percent diversion of materials from construction projects larger than 5,000 square feet. In 2019, the ordinance will expand to include all commercial demolition projects.

Construction and demolition projects generate at least 20 percent of all materials that go to Austin area landfills, according to the Austin Resource Recovery agency. “This ordinance takes a huge step toward achieving Austin’s zero waste goal by requiring more recycling and reuse of valuable materials,” says that group’s director, Bob Gedert.

Austin Resource Recovery says the ordinance “builds on two decades of construction material reuse and recycling guidelines championed by the Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) program. Because many affordable housing developments are already required to comply with AEGB standards (including 50 percent materials diversion), the ordinance poses a neutral impact on affordable housing. Other new projects could experience an increase of 0.1 to 0.2 percent in total construction costs,” the agency estimates.

Austin Resource Recovery has posted information about the new Construction and Demolition Recycling Ordinance at www.austintexas.gov/construction-demolition.