Tulsa trash bin delivery catching up as deadline approaches
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Monday, September 17, 2012
9/17/12 at 7:13 AM
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contact information about the
changes to Tulsa’s trash service.
Thousands of trash and recycling carts still must be delivered as the Oct. 1 launch of Tulsa's new system fast approaches.
Out of the city's roughly 116,500 households, carts have been dropped off at more than 61,000 of them, Solid Waste Services Manager Eric Lee said.
"We are increasing crews to catch us back up," he said, adding that the process is about a week behind schedule.
"At first, it was a matter of having enough inventory, and now it's about having enough people."
The number of crews has gone from three to five, allowing 4,000 carts to be delivered per day, seven days a week, Lee said.
"We fully expect that all carts will be delivered on time," he said.
Households can start using their carts once they arrive.
The new volume-based system, conducted by NeWSolutions, involves each household being issued two carts: one for trash and one for recycling.
Additional carts are available at extra charges. To set a bag of trash outside the cart requires a resident to place a 50-cent refuse sticker on it.
Green waste, such as lawn clippings and leaves, and bulky waste will be collected through separate programs by city crews.
The carts are delivered with a booklet about the new system.
Twice-a-week service: A temporary trash program was implemented this summer to bridge the contract gap between the city's former private hauling company and the new company, NeWSolutions.
NeWSolutions is conducting the summer program, which made all households go to once-a-week collection.
Once the new system starts, those that have opted to pay more for twice-a-week trash service will get it.
The day of the week that a household currently receives trash pickup will be its primary collection day.
Primary collection days are also when the recycling and green waste will be taken away since they are only once-a-week services.
A household's secondary collection day only will be for its refuse.
Those with Monday service have Thursday as the secondary day, Tuesday customers have Friday, Wednesday customers have Saturday, Thursday customers have Monday, and Friday customers have Tuesday.
It's important to note to avoid confusion, Lee said, that those who have, for example, Monday-Thursday and those who have Thursday-Monday have different primary collection days.
A total of 5,789 households out of Tulsa's 116,500 opted to pay more for twice-a-week collection.
Nearly the same amount, 5,841, have declined to participate in the recycling program, even though it is included in the service.
Sticker system: Beginning the week of Sept. 24, each Tulsa household will receive 10 free stickers in the mail for their overflow refuse bags.
Extra waste that cannot fit into a trash cart can be placed in any type bag, with one of these orange rectangular stickers placed near the bag's neck to be taken away by haulers.
This requirement begins with the new service Oct. 1.
Additional stickers can be purchased for 50 cents each at Tulsa area QuikTrip locations.
Also starting in October is the green waste collection program, which is being conducted by city crews.
Households on their primary collections days can set out bags of lawn clippings, leaves and other green waste to be taken away, if they have a lime green rectangular sticker attached.
The green waste must be in clear bags so crews can verify it is actually green waste, which is then taken to the city's green waste facility.
If the green waste is a small bundle of branches, the sticker can be adhered to the bundle.
No free green waste stickers are being issued to households, but November, December and January are free green waste collection months when the stickers are not required.
Green waste stickers can be bought for 50 cents each at QuikTrip locations.
A household can put green waste in the refuse cart, in any bag and without a sticker, if there is enough room so that the lid still closes. Green waste cannot go into the recycling cart.
Additional outlets other than QT may sell the refuse and green waste stickers in the future, trash system spokeswoman Liz Hunt said.
Bulky waste: City crews also will begin conducting a bulky waste collection program Oct. 1, rather than it being done by the trash hauler.
Households may call 918-596-9777 to arrange for a pickup. There will be a $5 fee per collection,which is based on volume, not item. It will show up on the next month's city utility bill.
City officials have said the volume can be as large as a small vehicle.
Rates and ordinances: Customers will see the charges for the new system show up on their November bills.
The rates, which already were approved by the City Council, include the $15.52 per month charge for the basic service, including once-a-week collection with two 96-gallon carts for trash and recycling.
Different costs apply based on a customer's program selections.
The council beginning next week will consider some proposed ordinances from city officials involving the new system.
Among them will be one requiring residents to substantially bag all of their trash placed in a cart.
Councilors balked at the proposal earlier this year, only approving the ordinance through September due to the temporary program.
It is critical for a number of reasons, Lee said, including keeping the carts clean, maintaining the health of haulers and controlling litter.
Twice-a-week trash collection schedule
Primary day/Secondary day
Original Print Headline: Trash days
- A household's recycling and green waste only will be collected on its primary collection day.
- Have questions? Call the city's trash hot line: 918-596-9777.
Brian Barber 918-581-8322
A mechanical claw tips a trash can into a truck as NeWSolutions hauler Brent Caldwell drives his route in a neighborhood near 81st Street and Elwood Avenue. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
Brent Caldwell, a driver for the NeWSolutions trash hauler, aims a mechanical claw toward a trash bin Friday. Households that already have their new carts have been instructed to begin using them now. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
A mechanical claw tips a trash can into a truck as Brent Caldwell drives his route in a neighborhood near 81st Street and Elwood Avenue in Tulsa on Friday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World