Sunday: San Antonio embraces trash system eyed for Tulsa
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Saturday, August 27, 2011
As Tulsans brace for changes to their residential trash service, San Antonians have embraced their switch to a new system and set lofty goals to reduce their waste.
“When people see what we are doing here in San Antonio, there’s no questioning this is something we are serious about,” said David McCary, the city’s solid waste management department director.
The service San Antonio finished transitioning to in 2010 is exactly what is being eyed for Tulsa — each household is given two rolling carts, with one for recycling and one for trash.
Recycling is not mandatory, but trash collection was reduced from twice-a-week to once-a-week.
Under this system, San Antonio has cut the 500,000 tons of waste it generates annually by 25 percent. Before the switch, it only recycled 5 percent.
That city’s elected leaders have a goal of reaching 60 percent by 2020 through a program called, “Creating a Pathway to Zero Waste.”
San Antonio is governed under a City Council-city manager form of government, McCary said.
The councilors are a diverse set of people: young and old and men and women of different races, but they all recognized the need to develop a trash program with an eye on the future, he said.
“What I believe they saw was a need to really touch our next generation,” McCary said. “It’s important to look beyond our time.”
Read the complete story in Sunday's World.
Yashir Barranco (right) reaches for a trash bin as Adan Ramos (background left) rides on a garbage truck during their shift near 81st Street and Elwood Avenue in Tulsa on Tuesday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World