AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the City of Austin continues to strive to be a Zero Waste city, the City says it needs your help when it comes to what is going into your recycling and trash bins. On Monday, Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) released a study indicating that 44 percent of residential trash going to the landfill could have been recycled.

The Waste Characterization Study looked at trash and recycling collected through Austin’s curbside service and how much of the materials are diverted from the landfill through recycling or composting programs.

“Although 96 percent of Austinites consider themselves recyclers, the reality is that more than 44 percent of Austin’s trash stream is recyclable materials,” said Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert. “This study confirms that if we recycle and compost properly, our Zero Waste goal is entirely attainable.”

Out of the 44 percent of trash collected that could be recycled: 23 percent of that is recyclable paper, 13 percent is recyclable plastic and 8 percent is recyclable metal and glass.

The study determined food waste is the single largest component of the disposal system. At the end of 2012, the City launched a pilot program for compost collection. Currently, about 14,000 households are part of the pilot program. Austin Resource Recovery is waiting on the City Council to approve money for a five-year roll-out of the compost program, starting in 2016.

ARR is also looking at weekly recycling pick-up for 2017. According to the Gedert, the collected volume of recyclables does not justify weekly pick-up; however, recycling will likely increase with a weekly collection.

To help customers recycle more, residents will receive a recycling guide in their mailbox in the next couple weeks.

What can you put in your blue bin? Click here for details on what is recyclable.