267 Transactions Completed

~35779ft³ Diverted from Landfill, ~530 MTCO2E Avoided

232 Active Businesses and Organizations

At least $234685 in Disposal Savings & Value Creation


Material NameResource TypeQuantity (cubic Feet)Weight (lb)
Recycling BinsHard Plastics351500
Spent GrainOrganic Residual16.52250
Spent GrainOrganic Residual2.2300
Business FurnitureBusiness Furniture/Fixture800045000
5 Gal. bucketsHard Plastics2780
Plastic BucketsHard Plastics21.4064.00
Plastic BucketsHard Plastics16.750
Emergency LightsBusiness Furniture/Fixture24192
Retail FixturesBusiness Furniture/FixtureTBDTBD
TablesBusiness Furniture/Fixture35300
Tables and CoolersBusiness Furniture/Fixture115934
Plastic BinsHard Plastics10001000
Plastic BinsHard Plastics250250
CardboardPaper and Cardboard2.256.42
Bubble WrapPackaging3.002.00
Styrofoam BlocksPackaging4.0014.00
Wood BlindsBusiness Furniture/Fixture9360
Wood BlindsBusiness Furniture/Fixture6240
CoroplastHard Plastics1.9213.44
Vinyl BannerOther Plastics and Rubber2.6141.00
AlummacorOther Plastics and Rubber7.36184.00
Medium Density Overlay PanelConstruction and Demolition2.8396.50
PVCHard Plastics13164
Business FurnitureBusiness Furniture/Fixture80112,700
Monitor StandsE-scrap2.5439
Monitor StandsE-scrap5892
Business FurnitureBusiness Furniture/Fixture24914500
Business FurnitureBusiness Furniture/Fixture17289600
Laundry CartsBusiness Equipment47200
Business FurnitureBusiness Furniture/Fixture10005000
Granite RubbleStone30.85000
Granite RubbleStone49.38000
RefrigeratorsBusiness Equipment68500
Shampoo and Soap DispensersHard Plastics1.407.5
Window ShadesTextiles3675
Spent YeastOrganic Residual1125658
Spent GrainOrganic Residual1100
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber6.776470588144
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber30.432
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber4.755
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber1920
Coffee GroundsOrganic Residual561120
Mushroom CompostOrganic Residual1.4130.00
Mushroom CompostOrganic Residual12.00258.00
Mushroom CompostOrganic Residual480
Mushroom CompostOrganic Residual4.0080
Mushroom CompostOrganic Residual10200
Mushroom CompostOrganic Residual8.00172.42
Office PaperPaper and Cardboard135
Plastic Zip BagsOther Plastics and Rubber0.51
Super SacksPackaging1.0030.00
Drapery FabricTextiles2480
Spent GrainOrganic Residual0.5575
Spent GrainOrganic Residual21.903000
CardboardPaper and Cardboard70200
CornmealOrganic Residual703000
Cardboardpaper and Cardboard70200
BricksConstruction and Demolition242889
Garden StatueConstruction and Demolition0.6100
Concrete PlanterConstruction and Demolition28
Granite ScrapConstruction and Demolition17.53000
Multiple Phone ChargerElectronics7.63218.40
Metal Pin-back ButtonsPlastic and Metal56300
Ice PacksPackaging4.30100.00
Plastic Corner BracesPackaging114200
Bubble WrapPackaging915
Plastic Corner BracesPackaging0.35
Ice PacksPackaging2.853
Plastic corner bracesHard Plastics115
Bubble WrapPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)915
Plastic BucketsHard Plastics720
Plastic corner bracesPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)12200
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber0.011.375
BricksConstruction and Demolition Waste242889
PlanterConstruction and Demolition Waste28
Garden StatueConstruction and Demolition Waste0.6100
Mushroom CompostFood Waste12258
RefrigeratorsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment68500
CardboardPaper and Cardboard12.85
Spent YeastFood Waste1125658
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber0.4626.6
Spent YeastFood Waste1125658
Coffee GroundsFood Waste480
Vinyl BannerOther Plastics and Rubber2.6141
AlummacorOther Plastics and Rubber7.36184
Medium Density Overlay PanelConstruction and Demolition Waste2.8396.5
CoroplastHard Plastics1.9213.44
Plastic BucketsHard Plastics21.464
Polystyrene BlocksPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)828
CarboardPaper and Cardboard514.2
Bubble WrapPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)88
Spent YeastFood Waste1125658
Mushroom CompostFood Waste480
Multiple Phone ChargerElectronics (e-scrap)7.63218.4
Shampoo and Soap DispensersHard Plastics1.47.5
Spent GrainFood Waste21.92500
Spent GrainFood Waste0.5575
MonitorsElectronics (e-scrap)801.646917
Miscellaneous Computer AccessoriesElectronics (e-scrap)942954
Metal RacksMetals and Metal Sludge686.647360
CPUsElectronics (e-scrap)921.911947
Wooden PalletsWooden Pallets269.82280
Spent YeastFood Waste1125658
Miscellaneous Computer AccessoriesElectronics (e-scrap)6252
Metal RacksMetals and Metal Sludge430.54302
CPUsElectronics (e-scrap)455.75945
Wooden PalletsWooden Pallets99.4840
Plastic ContainersHard Plastics6060
CardboardPaper and Cardboard1439.9
Flag Fabric ScrapTextiles and Leather27346
Vinyl BannerOther Plastics and Rubber541193
Spent GrainFood Waste0.5575
Organic MaterialFood Waste1125658
Mushroom CompostFood Waste5100
Coffee Grounds and ChaffFood Waste120
Spent GrainFood Waste102.214000
Wicker BasketsPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)2020
BucketsHard Plastics21.7620
StoneConstruction and Demolition Waste304000
StoneConstruction and Demolition Waste182500
Waste BasketsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment9.1642
Plastic Corner BracesPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)0.46
Craft SuppliesGlass and Ceramics3.14471
Drip Irrigation TapeOther Plastics and Rubber2.3133
Cold PacksPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)0.1911.25
Wooden PalletsWooden Pallets71600
Miscellaneous Computer AccessoriesElectronics (e-scrap)9.3391
MetalMetals and Metal Sludge152.71785
MonitorsElectronics (e-scrap)17.5151
Wooden DesksBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment180671
Organic MaterialFood Waste1125658
Spent GrainFood Waste189.826000
Coffee ChaffFood Waste0.36
Mushroom CompostFood Waste811620
PalletsWooden Pallets85.2480
Oyster ShellsFood Waste0.0310
Drapery fabricTextiles and Leather1445
Organic MaterialFood Waste1125658
Spent GrainFood Waste153.321000
ButtonsHard Plastics3140
Plastic CratesPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)3.553.74
Metal Roofing MaterialConstruction and Demolition Waste11958,290
Plastic CratesPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)24.8526.18
Polyethylene FoamPackaging (barrels, totes, polystyrene, industrial packaging, etc.)3.385.75
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible60717,000.00
Plastic CratesPlastics - Rigid42.644.88
Vinyl Banner and Vinyl AdhesivePlastics - PVC and Vinyl3.949
Canvas and Flag Fabric ScrapTextiles and Leather4.556
CanvasTextiles and Leather2.835
LumberWood - Treated, Painted, or Contaminated6.282
DoorsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment7.2100
Milk CartonsPackaging - Mixed Fused Materials2786
Cardboard Signs, Note Cards, Cardboard RoundsPaper and Cardboard0.310.67
Vinyl BannersPlastics - PVC and Vinyl5.485.2
Foam CoreOther - Mixed Fused Materials0.62.35
Metal PolesMetals and Metal Sludge0.830 lbs
Red SandSoil and Sand0.29 lbs
ButtonsPlastics - Rigid2.1400
BucketsPlastics - Rigid46.8140
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible50014,000.00
Mushroom CompostOrganics - Inedible2.348.3
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible1261,890.00
Concrete PaversC&D - Concrete and Aggregates1.2177.75
Landscaping StonesC&D - Concrete and Aggregates332,430.00
Irregular, flat limestone paversC&D - Concrete and Aggregates9.81,575.00
Stuffed Animals and PillowsTextiles and Leather1401,400.00
Plastic GoodsPlastics- Rigid3.3200
ButtonsPlastics - Rigid2.3440
BucketsPlastics - Rigid13.340
LumberWood - Treated, Painted, or Contaminated11.9262
Plastic CratesPlastics - Rigid88.81.87
Peat Moss and Coconut CoirOrganics - Inedible245.41350
FrassOrganics - Inedible41.4750
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible46413,000.00
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible1862,790.00
Painted LumberWood - Treated, Painted, or Contaminated5.3140
Wood CratePackaging - Reusable Containers1232
Plastic CratesPlastics - Rigd17.844
Telecommunication VaultsElectronics - Functional5542,508.00
Wood CratesPackaging - Reusable Containers158192
Plastic CratesPlastics - Rigid88.8220
Drip Irrigation TapePlastics - Film27385
Wood CratesPackaging - Reusable Containers384800
OSB PanelsWood - Treated, Painted, or Contaminated1204,872.00
PalletsWood - Pallets20190
Thimble Eye BoltsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment3.2116
ScrewsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment0.312
Oval Eye BoltsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment5.4198
Organic Material and FrassOrganics - Inedible40.5734
PaversC&D - Concrete and Aggregates67.78,212.80
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible1862,790.00
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible46413,000.00
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
Granite DustC&D - Concrete and Aggregates2177.44
Fabric TilesTextiles and Leather1094.7
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible1861,935.00
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible50014,000.00
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
PalletsWood - Pallets88.9810
Granite DustC&D - Concrete and Aggregates2.8231
Granite DustC&D - Concrete and Aggregates0.520
Oyster ShellsOrganics - Inedible603000lbs
Fish ChumOrganics - Inedible0.534.18
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible1201,800.00
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible642.918,000.00
ButtonsPlastics - Rigid5.2125
Work TablesBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment85207
BucketsPlastics - Rigid102.85
Sign Holders, Fire Extinguisher, Serving Cart, Picnic Table, Blow Torch, and Camp ChairsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment175.7304.95
Cinder BlockC&D - Concrete and Aggregates0.638
FanElectronics - Functional1.48.2
Metal Basin and Metal PanMetals and Metal Sludge5.77.5
Hand Held Umbrellas and Stakes (short, in-ground)Other - Mixed Fused Materials0.311.3
Shrink WrapPlastics - Film0.23.33
Shade Awning, Vinyl Gloves, Outdoor Rugs (plastic, polyethylene), Fence Mesh, TarpPlastics - PVC and Vinyl41.8181.5
BurlapTextiles and Leather1.530
Bar Stools, Table, and BenchBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment4169
Picnic Tables, Canopies, Patio UmbrellasBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment843.42,794.40
Gardening StakesOther - Mixed Fused Materials0.38
BasketsPackaging - Reusable Containers4.915
Outdoor Furniture, Chair, Retail Counter, Outdoor ChairsBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment91.62,989.20
Desk LampElectronics - Functional0.44.2
Produce CratePackaging - Reusable Containers1.33
All Weather Rugs (plastic, polyethylene) and Shade AwningPlastics - PVC and Vinyl8.3152
Serving Cart, Patio Umbrella, Clothes Rack, Towel Rack, Picnic TableBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment83.8250.3
All Weather Rugs (plastic, polyethylene)Plastics - PVC and Vinyl1.526
Shelf Unit and BenchesBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment21.281
Spot Lights and Table FansElectronics - Functional3.617.2
Teak PlantersWood - Treated, Painted, or Contaminated28161
Planter Bench SetBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment$12.6061
Plexi Glass Doors and Red DoorsC&D - Other9418.8
Magazine Rack and CouchBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment240412
Light BoxesElectronics - Functional2.588
Tech Benches and Bakers RacksBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment291487
TablesBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment126621
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible50014,000.00
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible128.31,920.00
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
Inorganic Chemicals, Acids, and AlkalisInorganic Chemicals, Acids, and Alkalis1.382.68
Organic ChemicalsOrganic Chemicals5.2326.9
Paints and CoatingsPaints and Coatings4.9332
Oils and WaxesOils and Waxes154.76
55gal steel drumsPackaging - Reusable Containers22.1111
Tables, ESD Racks, and Tech BenchesBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment11854,441.00
Ice PacksPackaging - Mixed Fused Materials7.7368.5
Ice PacksPackaging - Mixed Fused Materials0.525
Granite DustC&D - Concrete and Aggregates0.240
Window Covering Roller ShadesOther - Mixed Fused Materials0.360
PalletsWood - Pallets27.2272
FabricTextiles and Leather2080
55gal steel drumsPackaging - Reusable Containers22.1111
SawdustWood - Untreated6.990
Organic Corn and Soy MealOrganics - Inedible128.31,920.00
Inorganic Chemicals, Acids, and AlkalisInorganic Chemicals, Acids, and Alkalis6.6411.06
Organic ChemicalsOrganic Chemicals17.41,086.86
Paints and CoatingsPaints and Coatings46.63,136.66
Oils and WaxesOils and Waxes6.1344.62
Spent GrainOrganics - Inedible571.416,000.00
Organic MaterialOrganics - Inedible17908.5
BucketsPlastics - Rigid70.2315
Business FurnitureBusiness Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment956.14,360.00
Plastic CratesPlastics - Rigid42.7

Plastic Chart Holders

1,250ft3 Diverted from Landfill

Austin Regional Clinic recently switched to all digital medical records, and contacted us for help in reusing or recycling their now unneeded plastic chart holders. With our facilitation, the Austin Habitat for Humanity Restore was able to take ~250 of these chart holders, and will reuse them in their day-to-day operations. And Central Waste and Recycling was able to take the remainder, approximately 1,000, and will recycle the plastic.


Business Furniture from Office Relocation

Local Austin non-profit Any Baby Can utilized the Austin Materials Marketplace for assistance during their office move in early 2015. We were able to help find reuse and recycling solutions for ~300 cu yards of  business furniture, cubicles, and equipment, with most items going to Texas Office Products & Supply (TOPS) located just a few blocks away.

PVC Pipes

150lbs Diverted from Landfill
$460 in Cost Savings

Austin Resource Recovery had 3 barrels of used PVC pipes cut into 2-3 foot lengths for donation to non-profit organizations or individual residents. This was approximately 150lbs of PVC. The Austin Habitat for Humanity Restore picked up this material and reused them for various building projects. We estimate approximately $460 in raw material purchase savings for the Austin Habitat for Humanity Restore from this single transaction.


Two unconventional farmers find an unconventional match through the Austin Materials Marketplace


Aspire Food Group and Eden’s Cove Farm projected to see over $13,000 in savings and value creation

The Austin Materials Marketplace network is made up of over 200 eco-conscious organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs; including Austin’s only commercial scale, food-grade cricket farm: Aspire Food Group. Sustainability has deep roots at Aspire; not only in their drive to reimagine global food systems, but also in how they operate on a day-to-day basis. To this end, Aspire joined the Austin Materials Marketplace to discover higher and better uses for their primary by-products: coconut coir, peat moss, and organic cricket feed.

At Aspire, the crickets have an average lifespan of a little over one month. At the end of this month, there is leftover feed and nesting habitat materials – peat moss and coconut coir. Like many materials we see in the Materials Marketplace program, we quickly recognized the economic and environmental potential in finding a higher and better use for these nutrient-dense materials.

Eden’s Cove Farm, a heritage hog farm focused on building community and sustainability, is one of the participants capturing value from this by-product stream. On an ongoing basis, Eden’s Cove is picking up thousands of pounds of material per month from Aspire Food Group to use as feed for their heritage hogs. So far, the transaction has diverted 7,470lbs from landfill and avoided 5 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Both parties will also save big in 2017 with this ongoing transaction: approximately $12,000 per year in replacement feed costs, and a little over $1,000 per year in landfill disposal and new by-product revenue.

To sweeten the pot a bit more, Eden’s Cove is also using buckets from Austin Bergstrom International Airport – found through the Austin Materials Marketplace – to transport and store the feed. Austin Bergstrom International Airport generates an ongoing supply of these buckets; they typically recycle them, but prefer to find opportunities for the buckets to be reused due to the environmental benefits of reuse over recycling. With three different organizations finding reuse opportunities through this one transaction, this is truly a win-win-win scenario.

Take advantage of our program and create value for your business today by logging into your Marketplace account, browsing what’s available and starting a transaction. Not an Austin Materials Marketplace participant? Joining is easy – get in touch today to learn more.

Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Ian’s Giving Garden exchange drip irrigation tape


Johnson’s Backyard Garden just completed a transaction to provide 3,000 ft of drip irrigation tape to our youngest (and arguably coolest) Austin Materials Marketplace participant, Ian’s Giving Garden.

Ian McKenna, 11, has started multiple “giving gardens” around town to grow and donate food to children and families in need in the Austin area. His wonderful efforts are fueled in part by grants from the City of Austin Sustainability Office, Katie’s Krops, the Sodexo Foundation, and others; and we hope to connect Ian to more and more materials resources as his work grows and expands.

Great work, Ian!

State of Texas Alliance for Recycling reuses 750 recycling bins from 3M


This is a trade that really defines the “highest and best use” principle. 3M had 750 gently used desk-side recycling bins available in the marketplace. The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) has a fantastic bin grant program, which donates recycling bins to schools across Texas who are trying to start their own recycling programs. You can probably guess what happened next after we put them in touch…

We estimate this single transaction was worth about $5,250 to STAR. And while we’re happy about these materials being reused, we’re especially happy to know that they’ll stay in good use keeping additional materials out of the landfill for a long time to come.

Weevil’ed Cornmeal


One of our more unusual trades to date: yesterday Johnson’s Backyard Garden picked up a pallet’s worth of 50lb bags of cornmeal from The Natural Gardener. Unfortunately for The Natural Gardener, weevils had gotten into the cornmeal and it could no longer be used for its original purpose.

Despite the weevils, the cornmeal could still be useful in certain applications, especially given its nitrogen-rich properties. Johnson’s Backyard Garden picked up on this value, and picked up the cornmeal for use around their facilities.

This single transaction diverted ~3000lbs from the landfill, in addition to cutting disposal and purchase costs for both parties.

natural_gardener          jbglogo

From Bucket to Farm to Table – Gardopia Gardens transforms barbecue sauce containers into self-irrigated planters


Gardopia Gardens joined the Materials Marketplace program in late April to source materials to help with their efforts to create a healthier, more educated, and environmentally sustainable community. In May they picked up 105 donated buckets from Austin Business Recycling to repurpose into self-irrigated planters. Gardopia Gardens is handing out these planters to build out the local food movement. This transaction saved Gardopia Gardens around $550 in purchasing costs, diverted 70 cubic feet of materials from the landfill, and avoided approximately .493 metric tons of CO2 – a pretty successful connection across the board. And the icing on the cake is that these materials will be reused in a way that promotes beneficial lifestyles, communities, and food systems.

Interested in starting transactions like these that will save on money, carbon emissions, and materials sent to the landfill? Check out what we have available in the Marketplace or get in touch with what you are looking for – we are always happy to help.

Miscellaneous Office Furniture and Electronics

General Motors’ Austin Call Center contacted us for assistance in facilitating the reuse or recycling of a significant amount of unneeded office furniture and obsolete electronics. We were able to facilitate a connection between General Motors and Texas Office Products & Supply for the transportation, reuse and recycling of nearly all of GM’s materials, about 75 cubic yards total. In addition to landfill diversion, this transaction saved GM ~$600, and estimated resale value for TOPS is ~$3,000. Click here for details on the types of the materials.

And as of May 2015, GM has continued to use the program to divert additional office furniture and equipment from the landfill – a great example of global landfill-free objectives aligning with local opportunities and action.


Inspiring zero-waste innovation at the intersection of business, policy and oyster shells


The City of Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance supports Austin’s Zero Waste goal by requiring affected property owners to ensure that tenants and employees have access to convenient recycling. The ordinance also includes an Organics Diversion component which requires food permitted businesses to reduce or divert organic material away from the landfill. Businesses can meet this requirement through various approaches including leaner supply-chain management, composting organic materials, donating edible organics, or by finding reuse opportunities, a specialty for the Austin Materials Marketplace team.

Quality Seafood Market provides Austinites with the freshest possible seafood and has been doing so for almost 50 years. They run a tight ship that expertly maneuvers obstacles to serving up seafood to Central Texans, but the organics-related requirements in the URO created a new challenge for Quality Seafood. They generate a significant amount of byproducts from their seafood preparation including heavier items such as oyster shells and smellier items like fish parts – by-products that are inedible to most Central Texas animals, and difficult and rather expensive to compost. Owner Carol Huntsberger noted,

“Quality Seafood Market is dedicated to finding the highest and best use for all products without sending them to the landfill. The Austin Materials Marketplace program is helping us to achieve that goal.” 

Quality Seafood Market joined the Austin Materials Marketplace to develop and implement pro-environment AND pro-business solutions for their hard to divert materials. The Austin Materials Marketplace team has been working on finding reuse opportunities for these materials that save on disposal costs for Quality Seafood while also helping the restaurant meet the organics diversion component of the URO. The team explored several reuse options including loading up empty trucks and sending the shells to the gulf for oyster reef restoration projects, and using ground up shells to enhance soil and animal feed. However, the logistics for each solution have been challenging to incorporate into Quality Seafood’s operations.

We were thrilled when Munkebo Farm joined the conversation and brought a new reuse idea to the table – to use these shells as road base. Munkebo Farm picked up 3000lbs of oyster shells from Quality Seafood to use on their farm’s road, which saved on costs for both parties, diverted around .7 tons of CO2 emissions, and created a road made of natural materials that won’t leach harmful chemicals into the surrounding environment.

Interested in using oyster shells for landscaping purposes? Have another creative idea for materials available in the Marketplace? Login to your account and start a transaction.

Granite Dust for Healthy Soil


Granite Recyclers Austin is an Austin-based recycling and remanufacturing business that produces solid stone products like fire pits, pavers and split-faced tiles from 100% pre-consumer granite by-products generated by other Austin stone businesses. Their business, which we’ve covered in the past on our blog, plays an important role in helping other businesses in Austin divert waste from landfill and into higher and better use.

The focus today though is on another aspect of their business – and that’s the efforts they’re making in their own operations to be a zero-landfill business. The specialized machinery used by Granite Recyclers Austin produces two by-products: granite rubble and cutting sludge, which is dried and sifted to form a dust-like soil amendment.

Through the Austin Materials Marketplace program, Granite Recyclers Austin has been able to find reuse opportunities for both of these waste streams, approximately 13,500 pounds so far, including a connection made this week with the Compost Coalition for the granite dust.

Granite dust contains many nutrients and minerals that can be easily absorbed by plants. This soil amendment improves plant structure, increases resistance to pests and disease, and creates more intense flavors in fruits and veggies. This material was a perfect fit for the Compost Coalition, a grass-roots, volunteer network whose mission is to divert organics from the landfill back into our soil. Last week, the Compost Coalition picked up approximately 20 pounds of the dust to distribute to local community gardens, including a new project to create organic food gardens in underserved areas in Austin.

Give us a shout to learn more about getting involved in the Austin Materials Marketplace.

Apto Solutions and Liquis Inc. find new value through the Austin Materials Marketplace


Apto Solutions, an ITAD services provider, and Liquis Inc., a facilities decommissioning and asset recovery corporation, joined the Austin Materials Marketplace program to buy and sell inventory that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Because of the environmental benefits of reuse over recycling, Apto and Liquis hoped to find reuse opportunities through the Austin Materials Marketplace program to generate value and improve their environmental footprint. Since November, Apto has used the Marketplace to find new markets for many of the materials they’ve made available so far, with almost every transaction generating value and helping Austin achieve its zero-waste goal.

Take for example Apto’s recent transaction with Liquis for 19 telecommunication vaults – large plastic and metal boxes used to house and route telecommunications equipment underground. Liquis purchased all 19 vaults from Apto to distribute for direct reuse. This transaction created mutual value for both companies. Buying these new and unused vaults through the Marketplace created thousands of dollars in savings for Liquis. For Apto Solutions, the transaction resulted in the creation of additional value and savings by finding a buyer and avoiding additional disposal fees. This transaction also saved around 1.66 metric tons of CO2 and diverted 554 cubic feet from landfill.

As we roll into 2017, we hope to see many more transactions like these that create significant value for program participants, the local economy, and the environment. Login to your Marketplace account now to check out what’s available and start a transaction of your own.

Feeding Animals: Strange Land Brewery and Bedford Farm connect on Spent Brewery Grain


The Austin Materials Marketplace’s latest success story comes from Strange Land Brewery and Bedford Farm. The two businesses have started an ongoing relationship to reuse Strange Land Brewery’s spent grain as animal feed at Bedform Farm, diverting a significant amount of organic material from landfill each month.

This is one of the oldest case studies in the book. All around the world, breweries have their spent grain picked up in bulk by farmers, usually at little or no cost. This is a symbiotic exchange because sending spent grain to landfills is expensive, and farmers rely on this low-cost but energy-packed food to keep their meat and dairy prices low. This is also an ancient tradition, with fossil evidence suggesting that as far back as the Neolithic period (2000 B.C.), brewery by-products were being used to feed domesticated animals.

The US EPA also recommends organics recovery through feeding animals, prioritized just below source reduction and feeding people:

fd_reccvry_hierachy_363pxw“Feeding Animals is the third tier of EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. Farmers have been doing this for centuries. With proper and safe handling, anyone can donate food scraps to animals. Food scraps for animals can save farmers and companies money. It is often cheaper to feed animals food scraps rather than having them hauled to a landfill. Companies can also donate extra food to zoos or producers that make animal or pet food. There are many opportunities to feed animals, help the environment and reduce costs.”

Office Window Shades from HomeAway

HomeAway had 80 large window shades from one of their Austin offices available in the marketplace. We facilitated a transaction with Austin ShadeWorks to reuse the fabric.

Monitor Stands

892lbs Diverted from Landfill

General Motors’ Austin Innovation Center uses custom monitor mounts for many of its workstations, meaning in most situations, the stock monitor stand is removed and set aside prior to use. We connected GM and Global Environmental Services to make use of these untouched materials, 892 lbs total.

Spent Grain and T-Tape

Diversity Farms, one of our newer participants, has confidently jumped into the program with both feet! In late July 2015 they completed two transactions, one with Johnson’s Backyard Garden for ~500 feet of irrigation tape, and one with (512) Brewing for ~300 lbs of spent grain. The irrigation tape was installed in the garden and fruit tree orchard, and created some good learning experiences with the material in the process, which we hope to share with other program participants down the road.

The program metrics shown above with respect to cubic feet diverted, MTCO2E avoided (calculated using the EPA WARM method) and disposal savings/value creation are good faith estimates, and may vary slightly from the actual program metrics. This is due to potential discrepancies in material volume (converting 100 desks to cubic feet for example), shortcomings in the EPA WARM model, and our estimates for the monetary value of certain materials. Please let us know if you have any questions - we’re happy to share our work!