Restaurants in Austin banned from throwing away food

Restaurants in Austin banned from throwing away food
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Restaurants in Austin, Texas, will no longer be allowed to throw out food waste, the city announced this week.

Under a new policy that began Monday, all food-permitted businesses in the city are required to keep organic material, such as food scraps and soiled paper products, from landfills.

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Businesses can dispose of their food waste by donating extra food, giving scraps to local farms for animals, or composting, the city government said in a press release announcing the policy.

The city’s Universal Recycling Ordinance also requires businesses to provide employees with training on organic waste diversion, and to post information about the plan.

Official city data shows that 37 percent of material sent to landfills is organic and could have otherwise been donated or composted, the city said.

Austin’s ordinance is the latest move by a major city to introduce eco-friendly policies. Dozens of cities and businesses nationwide have banned plastic straws and other single-use plastic items in an effort to cut down on waste.