Recycling future better than expected
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, October 08, 2012
10/08/12 at 2:39 AM
Who says that Tulsans cannot learn new tricks? If predictions bear out, residents are on track to recycle about 400 tons per week under the new citywide system - eight times more than under the old subscription program.
The new system began Monday. During an update to the City Council, Solid Waste Manager Eric Lee said about 82 tons of recyclables were collected Monday, 87 tons on Tuesday and 40 tons on Wednesday. The tonnage was down Wednesday because the northwest quadrant of the city hasn't yet received recycling carts.
That's significant tonnage that won't end up the city's burn plant.
Conventional knowledge holds that if recycling is made easy and convenient, people will do the right thing and recycle. All trash customers pay for the recycling program but using it is voluntary. Customers receive a recycling cart as well as a trash receptacle. Recyclables can be tossed into the cart together - for instance, newspaper can be dumped in along with bottles, certain plastics and aluminum. Those items do not have to be bagged separately. And the nice thing about the new program is that recyclables are picked up regularly so they don't stack up in the garage or on the back porch.
Of the city's 116,000 households, only about 6,000 have refused the new recycling carts. That proves that Tulsans are willing, and most are eager, to participate in the recycling program.
If the 400 tons per week rate continues, it will meet expectations of recycling 20,000 tons per year.
Proceeds from selling the recyclable materials will be used to keep Tulsa's customer rates level.
Tulsans could even surpass that 20,000 ton-a-year goal if they apply themselves. And why shouldn't they? A few extra minutes to make sure trash goes into the trash receptacle and recyclable materials (read the trash booklet distributed earlier about what's acceptable) goes into the cart for recyclables, helps the environment, repurposes materials and keeps customer rates stable.
Where's the downside? There isn't any. This gives a whole new definition to Green Country.
Original Print Headline: Green Country
Tulsa residents are on track to recycle about 400 tons per week under the new citywide system. Tulsa World file