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Austin to pay people to house chickens in waste initiative

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

Last updated on 18-Apr-2017 at 13:58 GMT2017-04-18T13:58:34Z

Austin believes backyard chickens can help its food waste reduction targets
Austin believes backyard chickens can help its food waste reduction targets

Austin, the capital city of the US state Texas, will start paying the public to keep a chicken coop as government officials look to innovative methods to meet ambitious food waste targets.

The City of Austin will pay $75 to any adult living in the city who chooses to buy a chicken coop and starts looking after chickens in their backyard.

As part of the Austin Resource Recovery’s Home Composting Rebate Program, Austinites can attend one of five free chicken-keeping classes over the summer. After one class has been attended, people can buy a chicken coop and submit a rebate application to the city online and, in turn, they will receive a $75 cheque from the government.

Zero waste target

The City of Austin said in a statement that keeping chickens was a “great way” to keep food waste out of landfill, as chickens recycle food scraps. They can also provide fresh eggs and meat, as well as create healthy soil.

Austin officials want to be able to reach a point when it creates no waste by 2040. To meet this ambitious target, the administration said it needed to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill by 90% in the next 23 years.

All of the free chicken classes are already fully booked, suggesting demand to start a chicken coop in the city is high.

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