A Letter from Recycle Michael

2012 was a green year for all of us here at The M.e.t. We started new collection programs, cheered on new recycling carts for Tulsans, and produced the best compost campaign ever held. I especially liked the friends we connected with and the new partners we discovered. This includes the hundreds of volunteers who helped us unload cars of pollutants, as well as the dozens of businesses that helped us be green, and made our work very gratifying last year.

The biggest story in recycling around our community in 2012 was the number of new recyclers with the City of Tulsa blue carts. We applaud them and stand ready to assist them in any way. Tulsa’s actions also helped spur the purchase of new recycling equipment, costing millions of dollars, and at least a hundred new jobs to handle these recyclables.

This action did affect The M.e.t.—while The M.e.t. has 13 recycling centers in the Tulsa metro area, the five centers in Tulsa displayed that most of our customers have now chosen the more convenient curbside collection and our drop-off centers have suffered. Our challenges in the next year are to be as efficient as possible and find new materials to collect to supplement Tulsa’s efforts. We also pledge to make real investments in the eight outlying centers to make them the best recycling facilities available.

Our household hazardous waste efforts continue to excel with our biannual Fairgrounds Pollutant Collection events. We are collecting more material than ever, therefore keeping more material out of the waste stream and the rivers. We now have enough trained volunteers that we can unload five cars per minute during the event. Most people don’t realize that we are in charge of these events; we like to focus on the hazardous materials collected instead of the credit.

But even with this program, our goal is to go out of the event business. In 2012, we convened a task force of trash, water, fire, and planning officials to create a white paper calling for a permanent hazardous waste collection building. This service saves lives and needs to be offered every week, not just two weekends a year.

While we’re really only funded to run recycling centers and conduct haz-waste collection events, we see our job as doing more. From award winning compost education, to giving out awards to the best Recyclers in the state, we are blessed to have a chance to be even better. Please get involved—we need your ideas, your time as a volunteer and as we are a non-profit, we always need your financial support. We stand committed to creating a green future for each of you and for The M.e.t. in 2013!

Michael Patton, Executive Director of The M.e.t.