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Bess Maple Holzband, age 5

Austin suspended extra household trash fees in March as at-home residents started making more of it. Jodi Bart Holzand and her family were among those celebrating.

It's time for Austinites to start keeping tabs on their garbage because the heady days of limitless trash pickup are over.

Fees for extra trash come back starting Monday, Sept. 7, nearly six months after the Austin City Council waived them to accommodate residents who were working from home and, therefore, doubling their household waste output.


Restaurants were also, in mid-March, required to serve their food only to-go during the early days of the pandemic shutdown, generating more trash for households as well.

"Due to unprecedented changes brought about by COVID-19 earlier this year, we understood most households would be generating extra trash," said Austin Resource Recovery Director Ken Snipes. "We hope this effort has provided relief for our customers during these uncertain times."

Any bag of trash that doesn't fit in a household's city-issued trash cart will need a $4 excess-garbage sticker, which can be purchased at grocery stores. Otherwise, customers are charged $9.60 plus tax for each additional bag of trash. Extra recycling is free and always has been.

Overflowing residential trash cans, in typical times, brought in $8,000 per week in city fees. In the first month of the shutdowns, residents were producing 11% more trash than in previous months.

The city's recycling center, which closed in March due to COVID-19 concerns, is reopening on an appointment-only basis. Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center (RRDOC) will resume its acceptance of hard to recycle items such as Styrofoam and plastic film, as well as household hazardous waste.

Austin/Travis County residents are asked to call (512) 974-4343 to schedule a drop-off time.

After a brief collection period earlier this summer, bulk trash collection is temporarily suspended. Click here to look at updated schedules.

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Two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Texas' first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will rescind statewide pandemic restrictions, including business capacity limits and mask mandates, next week. Although businesses—especially those tied to the hospitality industry—have suffered financially over the last year, many Austin establishments are rejecting Abbott's order.

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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.

Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.

A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.

Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."

She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."

That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."

Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.

Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.

Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.

Two hours after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that state mandates on wearing masks and limiting business capacities would be lifted, Mayor Steve Adler wrote a letter to the city urging residents to keep their masks on and stay safe.

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