Leaves & TARE Changes

Nov 1, 2011 by

There have been many stories in the news about possible changes to the residential trash service in the City of Tulsa. Many people are excited about the potential to get more recycling service and others are concerned about paying more for possibly less frequent collection of garbage. I don’t know what will happen when it all comes together, but I am part of the first group. I believe that recycling is valuable to our community, especially in creating jobs and saving energy and that most of us are in favor of both of these results.

One part of the discussion hasn’t received as much news coverage,  and that is the part about yard waste collection. Will the City contractor pick up grass and leaves if I put them at the curb? The leaves are about ready to fall and this decision won’t be made for weeks so the answer to that question for now is yes.

Currently, Tulsans are limited to having collected twelve bags or bundles of sticks, leaves and grass per week. While that is enough for most, for some homeowners it is not. There is a guy on my block who keeps a small stack of yellow bags near the curb from April to November because he generates more bags than rules allow. He could take them for free to the green waste site, but chooses not to.

Less than 25% of Tulsans put leaves or grass in bags at the curb. Most of us have a mulching mower, a compost area or don’t care if the leaves aren’t raked. Currently, because we all pay the same monthly rate it means that the majority of us are forced to subsidize the guy with all the extra bags at the curb.

No decision has been made yet, but the trash authority is contemplating charging the residents who put out large amounts of leaves and grass a little more. The concept isn’t new, Owasso has charged extra for years. An extra cart for leaves is an extra monthly charge.  Citizens can also buy 10-packs of special bags at City Hall or QuikTrip for eight dollars.  I hope Tulsa copies this unlimited billing method, but at a cost. Then the neighbor can get all the bags picked up at once, and the rest of us won’t have to pay extra for his decision.

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