Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The City of Tulsa opened bids Thursday morning from contractors interested in providing trash service for the next decade.

The bids will be reviewed for a month before a committee recommends a contractor, and the specifics of the service, to a board which will make the decision.

Next summer, all of Tulsa will see new trash trucks with carts used for trash collection. The trucks run on natural gas, and the carts hold more than the cans most people use now.

"It's less labor intensive and it's better, less injuries," said Andy Huggins, Solid Waster Superintendent.

That was some of the thinking at city hall now that it's time to rebid the contract for trash service. Those bids were opened Thursday, but the winning big won't be picked for a month.

"They're very complicated, so just reading the prices today doesn't say the award, or bid, will go to," said Eric Lee, Tulsa Solid Waste Manager.

The city got bids for trash pickup from three national and three local firms, including the current hauler TRI.

Some specifics of the system are yet to be determined - like whether trash pickup will be once or twice a week. But there will definitely be three different choices of the size of the trash cart - the smaller the cart that you use, the less you'll pay for the service.

The new service will require everyone to have carts for trash and recycling, which will be picked up on the same day. Yard waste won't be included. They city will pick it up for an extra fee.

The haulers are required to use CNG trucks, to reduce air pollution. The big question of who gets the bid is down to six companies.

The trash pickup is likely to be once a week, but it could be twice. It is certain Tulsans will pay more for trash service, but the rates will be based on volume, for the first time.

"It just depends on how much trash they generate," Huggins said.

Lee said it appeared the bids were very competitive with each other and would allow the City to improve service with a marginal increase in cost.

The new carts, the new trucks and the new service - all rolls out next summer.