Metropolitan Environmental Trust Taking On New Challenge
TULSA, Oklahoma - Recycling depots in Tulsa will stay open, even though the mission of the organization that runs them is changing.
The Metropolitan Environmental Trust helped lead the way on Tulsa’s recycling – both for common items and hazardous household waste. But the M.e.t. almost worked itself out of a job by encouraging the city-wide initiatives.
The city now does that work, so the M.e.t. is taking on a new challenge.
There was a time when the drop-off sites were the first choice for people choosing to recycle.
They're still open - taking cans, bottles and paper - but their target going forward will be more of the difficult to recycle items, like electronics, and on the education that encourages people to do the right thing.
M.e.t. executive director, Graham Brannin said, “And we're talking about going into some added services with recycling, with more e-waste and other options to expand those areas, and also get more into education and target school-age kids.”
The City's trash board is a major backer of the M.e.t., but with most recycling now happening curbside, and a city household pollution site open, the question was whether the city needed the M.e.t.
The answer was yes.
“No, we need to work in conjunction with the M.e.t. to develop all of these plans. They've been a great partner and we need to continue this partnership,” said TARE board chair, Priscilla Harris.
The track record of the M.e.t. could save the operation. The city hopes to tap into its expertise at changing habits towards recycling since there's still a problem with contamination in the blue carts.
The goal is a new education strategy in the schools.
Harris said, "And we want to go into the schools to teach them about recycling and work on things to reduce the contamination.”
The M.e.t. has until July to plan out a new contract with the city.
Part of that is a regional household pollution strategy that would allow people from outside Tulsa to use the new drop off site the City of Tulsa opened in January.