City Wants Permanent Hazardous Material Drop Off Location

Tuesday, August 11th 2015, 7:06 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The City of Tulsa has picked a site for a permanent household pollution drop off site. The idea has been in the works for years, but the site has just come up.

The city wants to create a spot to drop off household pollution - what now happens at the fairground twice a year would, instead, be open all year.

It's not far from a highway, but also not far from the river and a neighborhood.

Two times a year, cars line up with people eager to drop off things they don't want to throw away.

The government pays for it to discourage people from throwing away hazardous materials - old motor oil, chemicals and anything else.

But because it's only open two weekends a year, it's not convenient for a lot of people according to Scott VanLoo with the City of Tulsa.

“You have to hold on to the material for a long time, and we get a lot of calls from people with loved ones who have died and they have things they want to get rid of without putting it in the trash, or the toilet, and they want to dispose of it properly," he said.

That's why the city is looking at old warehouse space for a permanent drop off site.

The city owns the land, it's already zoned and has security, and since there's already a building the city wouldn't have to build one.

Tulsa Mayor, Dewey Bartlett said, “It's indoors, so if it's raining at the fairgrounds people would go. So if we have a weather event, people can pull in, drop off without getting out of their car and it's real easy, so I think it's a great idea."

The fairgrounds events cost $330,000 to operate just four days per year. The new facility is predicted to cost $175,000 to operate 104 days per year - two days each week.

Feasibility Analysis Of Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility

The only potential problem with the plan is an RV and mobile home park next door - 450 feet from the site.

The city doesn't expect any hazard for the residents, but Park Manager Dora Darnell wants to be sure.

“I think they need to talk to us, more of the residents, before they make it definite it's going here because this is residential,” she said.

Oklahoma City already has a similar place.

Under the fastest timeline, the new site could open at the end of this year. Until then, there's another collection weekend at the fairgrounds coming up November 7th and 8th.