Hard plastics can now be recycled

Austin residents can now toss hard plastics into their curbside recycle bin.

Hard plastics such as buckets, lawn chairs, pet carriers, milk crates, laundry baskets, non-battery operated toys and totes were not previously allowed in the city's recycling program but can now be processed properly, according to an Aug. 25 city announcement.

"Residents are sometimes confused about the types of plastic that we accept in our recycling program," Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert said in a written statement. "We're making it easier for our customers to identify accepted plastics, which makes it easier for them to recycle more."

The items can be recycled at no extra cost as long as metal components are removed from the items, they have been emptied and rinsed and all can fit into the blue recycling bin with the lid closed. Items like like ice scrapers, rakes, battery cables, plastic lumber, fencing and more can be made from these recycled hard plastics, according to a city news release.

Customers who switch from a 96-gallon trash cart to a 32-gallon trash cart save more than $225 per year on their city of Austin utility bills, according to the city.

People can continue recycling plastic bottles and containers, cardboard, boxboard, aluminum, metals, paper and glass in their bins.