City Of Tulsa Dealing With Increase In Green Waste With Falling Leaves

Friday, November 22nd 2013, 5:32 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa's trash service is dealing with the sudden increase of leaves going in the trash stream, when it was supposed to be diverted into green waste.

The trash service says their overall volume of trash has increased 20 percent since the leaves started falling. For the trash hauler, it means a lot more trips to empty their trucks, and they're not really getting paid for the extra volume, because the city figured most of it would end up separated in bags outside the trash carts.

And while that is happening, most people are putting most of it inside the cart so it goes out with the trash.

But still, there's enough outside the carts that the separate pickup by the city is costing $212,000 a month. They do it with separate workers and trucks.

10/29/2013 Related Story: Mayor, Trash Board Streamline Communication About Green Waste System

Friday, the city's trash board voted to ask private haulers to bid on picking it up. They figure a private hauler could do it for half the cost, especially if the current trash hauler takes over the extra work.

Tulsans put out half a million of those bags in the last year.

The city is now composting what they pick up by manually opening up the bags at the back of the truck. That's the only way they've figured out how to recycle leaves instead of just burning them.