Garbage Truck Audit

On March 1, 2012, staff of the city's Solid Waste Division chose a random residential garbage truck and performed an audit of its contents. The purpose of the audit was to identify how much material that could have been recycled was actually tossed into the garbage rather than the blue recycling cart.

Remember: everything thrown into the brown cart heads directly to the landfill to be buried forever; items tossed into the blue recycling carts will be re-purposed and re-enter our market place.

The Results


Nearly 30 percent of the debris on the truck was recyclable in Fort Worth's recycling program. Here's the breakdown of what was found in the truck:

  • Compostables: 27%
  • Mixed Paper: 12%
  • Yard Waste: 11%
  • Glass: 8%
  • Bath & Diapers: 7%
  • Garbage: 7%
  • Mixed Plastic: 6%
  • Textiles: 5%
  • Remodel Waste: 5%
  • Electronics: 4%
  • Plastic Bags: 3%
  • Aluminum: 2%
  • Ferrous Metals: 2%
  • Hangers: 1%
  • Cartons: <1%

Fort Worth currently diverts 24 percent of residential waste from the landfill through recycling and yard waste collections.

Two pie charts calculating increase after recycle

If Fort Worth residents put all of their recycling in the blue cart to be recycled instead of wasting it as garbage, we could divert more than 40 percent away from landfill disposal.

It all adds up

Visual C2 calculator register image

An estimate of the value of residential recycling materials that was landfilled in 2011 is $12,744,816.03. These recycling materials were landfilled because many residents choose to use their garbage cart instead of their blue recycling cart.