Many Tulsa Residents Resistant To Recycling As New Carts Are Delivered


Monday, September 17th 2012, 7:21 pm
By: Emory Bryan


Tulsa's new trash service, with included recycling, starts in two weeks.

Not that everyone has warmed up to idea of recycling.

Several thousand people opted out of recycling before they got the carts, several hundred people got the cart and asked the city to take it back, but only one person sawed their recycling cart into pieces and put it in the trash.

That really happened, but otherwise the transition is happening to build up recycling in Tulsa.

There's a reason the people unloading and assembling these carts are in a hurry: They have to have all of them distributed to homes in the next two weeks.

They still have 35,000 of them in storage or still on the way from the factory.

7/2/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Trash Pickup Gets New Trucks, New Service

Trash hauler "New Solutions" is handing out carts according to the days the trash will be picked up.

"We have set out all the carts in the Friday, Tuesday and Thursday areas," said New Solutions' Gary Percefull. "We're working on Monday right now and we'll do Wednesday. That will be the last thing next week."

The biggest change to the trash service is the city owned carts and the addition of universal recycling.

The biggest complaint is the size of the cart (96 gallons). It's more than what many people think they need in a week.

Whatever is put into the bins comes to what's called the "murph" at American Waste Control, where, for now, it is hand-sorted into different categories of plastic, glass and paper.

"This is just a dirty waste stream and we run it through the murph to pull the recyclables out of it," said American Waste Control's Tom Hill.

The company is building a $7-million automated line that will do much of the sorting, but it's going to take several more weeks to get it running.

New Solutions is already picking up recycling in areas where the carts have been distributed, and said people are slowly beginning to put more in them.

They said they have had lots of questions about what appears to be trash trucks picking up recycling.

"But we're running two different trucks over every route: One to pick up the gray carts, the refuse carts and the other to service the blue carts," Percefull said.

The city said about 80% of what people throw away is recyclable, so they're hoping as much of that as possible makes it into these carts.

There's a guide distributed with the carts that explains it.