Austin Attorney Leads Environmental Task Force

When one thinks of a champion of the local environment, a criminal defense attorney does not often come to mind. The good news for Austin, Texas is that a well-respected lawyer, Rick Cofer, is as dedicated to protecting the environment as he is his client’s civil rights.

Acting as chairman of the Austin Parks and Recreational Recycling Task Force, Rick Cofer is looking for ways to conduct a consistent sustainable recycling program in all of the city’s parks and recreational areas. The Task Force was approved by The City Council to implement Austin’s Zero Waste Plan of 2009, which has the ambitious goal of eliminating 90 percent of landfill waste by the year 2040. This program is all the more important after the ban on single-use plastic bags for groceries was recently overturned by the Supreme Court. Cofer pointed out that some of the city’s parks and recreation areas have no recycling bins at all.

In order for a citywide recycling program to work, talk must be put into action. Cofer says that uniformity is the key. Recycling bins on Congress Avenue Downtown need to look the same as those in the city parks for everyone to get the message and get on board with the city’s efforts.

Talks are in the works to get funding approved for these initiatives, with two budget plans up for discussion, according to an article, “Task Force Talks Trash” found on Clearly and uniformly labeled trash and recycling receptacles, signage, temporary employees and community education programs will all need to be funded so money talks are in the works. Additional refuse pickups and a composting program will also cost more.

If the Parks and Recreation Recycling Taskforce can get adequate funding in place, residents living in the area will see some progress toward Austin’s Zero Waste Plan goal.