Location: 2416 E 6th St Austin, TX 78702
Description: Balcones Resources is a waste management and resource recovery business with facilities in Dallas, Austin, and Little Rock. Its 75,000 square feet plant on 6th Street processes paper, plastic, and light metals.
+ Less than 2% of all materials leaving the facility are landfill-bound.
+ A key component of Austin’s Zero Waste plan.
+ Operates a consulting arm under the name EcoWorks.
+ Utilizes rail for logistics whenever possible, including between facilities in Texas and Arkansas.
+ Lower quality bales sold to local markets, while higher quality materials are exported abroad.
+ Produces an alternative fuel from traditionally non-recylable materials, classified as a biomass.
Conclusion: Recycling companies are unique in the discourse, representing one of the few industries with a business model that seems inherently (and inextricably) sustainable. However, simply working in an industry that emphasizes “reduce, reuse, recycle” does not guarantee success in achieving the triple bottom line. Other elements of operation, such as logistics and material output, must be carefully monitored for their short & longterm sustainability. Balcones appears to be doing precisely this, while still maintaining its market competitiveness.
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