Broken Arrow Residents Question Need To Change Trash Service

Monday, May 21st 2012, 10:52 pm
By: News On 6

It was a packed house during a meeting Monday night to discuss changes to Broken Arrow's trash service.

The city is looking into changing the trash plan to a "Pay as you Throw" method. They say they're simply preparing for the future, but residents argue if it's not broken now, then why fix it?

04/09/2012 Related Story: Broken Arrow Proposes Changes In Trash Collection

Broken Arrow city leaders say every month their residents generate 3,100 tons of trash. And they're estimating it'll only get worse.

"What are we going to do 10 years down the road or 15 years down the road when landfills may not be an option for us to send our trash to," Mike Lester, Broken Arrow Mayor, said.

Under the current system, all residents pay $15.50 per month to have their trash picked up twice a week. The proposed plan reduces pick up to once a week and modifies monthly rates.

For a 96-gallon cart, it will cost $15.50 per month. A 64-gallon cart is $12 per month. And a 32-gallon cart is $9 per month.

"If they want a couple more bucks, fine," Broken Arrow resident Jim Naufel said. "I'll give them a couple more bucks, just don't screw with it."

At Monday's public forum, Councilor Johnnie Parks explained that the proposed idea will help save money for those who have less trash.

But some residents aren't buying that. They think this new plan is just a way to force people to recycle.

"If they want us to recycle, just have a recycle plan and leave the rest of it the way it is," Ralph Grunhof, Broken Arrow resident, said. "There's no reason to change it."

Right now, the city supplies trash bags for residents to place on their sidewalk. Some people say the bag method is much better than having to lug around heavy carts.

"They need to put it to a vote of the people if they want to have it considered instead of jamming it down our throats like they're trying to do," Grunhof said.

This was the last of the five public forums held. Now the decision is in the city's hands.

The city plans to take all of the citizens input into consideration when coming up with a new trash plan. They will then present it to the council. As of now, no date has been set on when that will happen.