‘Unboxing’ turns trash into a second Christmas gift

Dec 27, 2012

A recycling effort will aid The Salvation Army, the Sandy Hook school and cancer patients.

By RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Published: 12/27/2012  2:30 AM
Last Modified: 12/27/2012  8:01 AM

With Christmas in the rear-view mirror, a new season is upon us.

It’s the holiday recycling season.

Recycling efforts will extend through Jan. 6 as part of the “Unboxing Christmas 12 Days Campaign.” The project is a collaboration among the city of Tulsa, the Metropolitan Environmental Trust, American Waste Control and the Harley Hollan Cos.

American Waste Control is donating a portion of the proceeds from the recyclables to the Tulsa Salvation Army and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Fund in Connecticut. Proceeds from the Harley Hollan collections will benefit Turning Tulsa Pink, which supports the families of women and children with cancer.

“It’s going really well,” Tom Hill, chief executive officer of American Waste Control, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “We’re seeing our first loads come in. We’ve been pleasantly pleased with the amount of cardboard and fiber in the loads.”

American Waste Control owns Tulsa Recycle and Transfer, which recently underwent a $10 million upgrade at its North Peoria Avenue facility, which processes all of the city of Tulsa’s household recyclables.

“People are more enthused and more educated about this,” Hill said of the post-Christmas “unboxing” campaign. “Some of that is because the city of Tulsa’s trash program and recycling program has brought the awareness of recycling up.

“We’re seeing it more on the commercial side because of our Mr. Murph containers. … We’re getting a higher participation rate, and we’re getting a better quality of recycling materials placed into those containers.”

American Waste wants to surpass the more than a million pounds of collections received during last year’s after-Christmas campaign, Hill said.

“With our new equipment, we’re capable of getting a higher percentage of those recyclables back into new products,” said Hill, who placed the recovery rate at 95 percent to 98 percent.

“We’ve gone from more of a manual process last year to more of an automated process with a manual quality-control check.”

Read more from this Tulsa World article at: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20121227_12_A9_WithCh793139