AUSTIN (KXAN) - As the City of Austin works towards its "zero waste goal," a new recycling facility will help the City move closer to that goal.
Balcones Resources Inc. broke ground on a new materials recycling facility on Wednesday.
The 10-acre site in northeast Austin is scheduled to open in fall 2012.
Balcones already handles a large portion of the city's commercial recycling, and in April, the city of Austin awarded the company a 20-year contract to process 60 percent of residential curbside recycling material.
The $20 million facility is being designed so it can easily be expanded as Balcones' partnership with the city grows.
"We are thrilled to see this project come online. The new MRF will not only help decrease the amount of waste we send to landfills, but it will also help the city achieve its zero-waste goal much sooner," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
Currently, Austin residents get their recycling picked up bi-weekly and that will continue to be the case for the time being. While some residents are eager to see recycling bins picked up weekly, the City said that still could be years away.
"They are considering implementing [weekly pick-up] as part of their master plan in the upcoming years, but the City will have to factor in cost and operation factors," said Lauren B. Hammond with the City of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department.
Once the Balcones site is operational, 60% of recyclables will be processed there and 40% will go to the Texas Disposal System site on the southside of town. By having two sites, the City said this will cut down on its carbon footprint by not having to move all that material to one side of town.
The City of Austin used to contract with Greenstar to have their recyclables shipped to San Antonio for processing but that contract ended in October 2010.
If your household is an avid recycling household, the Solid Waste Services Department said you can request a second recycling bin for no extra charge .
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.