Refuse update

Jan 10, 2013

Tulsans adapt to refuse-collection changes

By World’s Editorials Writers
Published: 1/10/2013  2:21 AM
Last Modified: 1/10/2013  4:35 AM

Just three months into the city’s new refuse collection and recycling program, Tulsans seem to be adjusting to the changes – and not only adjusting, but even embracing the recycling component.

That’s good news for the city in more ways than one. Recycling obviously reduces the amount of refuse that must go to the burn plant, it also helps out the environment and provides hundreds of jobs throughout this area.

According to city solid waste data, Tulsans recycled more in the two weeks after Christmas than they have since the new service started up on Oct. 1. Officials say the amount of recycling hauled off during this period reflects a successful first holiday season.

The 116,500 households receiving city service set out nearly 453 tons of recyclables last week and 412 tons the week before. That’s up significantly from the weekly average of about 374 tons that has been set during the first three months of the new services.

It also appears that problems with collections are getting resolved. The number of calls about missed service and other complaints rose only slightly over the holiday period. And, information about changes in collection schedules resulting from the holidays also seems to be getting through to customers.

After all the controversy that was generated by the switch to the new collection system, it’s encouraging to see the issues being resolved and local residents adapting to the changes. It’s estimated that recycling accounts for about 5,000 jobs across Oklahoma and an annual payroll of about $80 million. Many of these individuals would have trouble finding jobs were it not for recycling programs.

Change can be difficult, but it can also be for the better.

Read the original Tulsa World article here.