The city of Austin, Texas, has begun a pilot program to collect organic waste from residents weekly and convert it to compost.

The city is offering the curbside service to about 7,900 households in five test areas in Austin representing the city’s demographic diversity, according to a news release. During the one-year pilot, the city will evaluate the effectiveness of the organics collection program and evaluate possible costs as they might affect future rates.

Depending on how the pilot areas do the city said it may add more households, with the goal of providing curbside organics collection to all Austin customers by 2016. 

Those participating in the program will receive a 96-gallon cart to collect yard trimmings, food scrap and food-soiled paper. Austin Resource Recovery currently provides all customers with weekly yard waste collection. The pilot participants also received a small food scrap collector to help take food scraps from the kitchen to the organics cart. The city will have the organics processed to generate compost.

Pilot participants will pay no additional cost for the service.

The pilot program is part of Austin’s goal to divert 90 percent of materials from landfills by 2040.

“At present, nearly half the materials that end up in the landfill could be composted,” said Bob Gedert, Austin Resource Recovery director. “Collecting organic materials at the curb will keep valuable materials out of our landfills, reduce harmful greenhouse gases and help Austin get closer to zero waste.”