Tulsa Says No Citywide Debris Pickup Planned

Monday, December 23rd 2013, 1:19 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The City of Tulsa has decided, for now, that it won't be picking up debris from this weekend's ice storm. That means YOU have a couple of options: either hire someone, or take care of it yourself.

The city decision is rooted in a couple of factors - the cost of it during a tight budget, and the timing of it - the city workers who might do the work are needed elsewhere.

But the decision is not absolutely final.

For the City of Tulsa, the biggest problem is low hanging limbs and the occasional one blocking a street.

For people who live in the City - the biggest problem is what to do with all those limbs.

The City is not planning a special storm debris pickup, like the one after the windstorm.

For one thing - the people who picked up limbs this summer - are out fixing potholes and driving sand trucks now.

"Those are the same crews out doing now potholes and crews moving limbs off the roads, so those are the same people if another storm comes in, they'll be pulled off to do other duties," said Leon Kragel, City of Tulsa.

With the trees still frozen, the city says it can't determine yet just how much debris there might be and how much it would cost to take care of it.

Tree company workers says there's a lot of damage and while they trim back trees in danger of falling - they're waiting to see what the city decides to do.

Norman Atwell with South Tulsa Tree Service said, "We want to know, because otherwise it will change plans, that's another thing about the make safe, is that you can assess how to bid on whether or not the city's going to pick up because that's just it, they come to the curb, it's a great service."

The city spent about $30,000 in overtime over the weekend and doesn't want to spend more to pick up limbs from private property.

For people able to haul it - the city will take it for free at the greenwaste site and mulch it.

It was busy Monday morning.

"It's kind of a mix of everything really, it just depends, it's all that extra weight from the ice," said Eric Strickland, Tulsa.

There is the option of cutting limbs short and leaving them in bundles at the curb.

For now, that's the only way to get the city to pick it up at the curb.

And that pickup is on regular trash days, which because of the upcoming holidays might be off some.

Check here to see the city's schedule.