New OKC Recycling Program Sees Growing Pains

Monday, July 16th 2018, 5:53 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

Oklahoma City is seeing growing pains three weeks into the city's very popular new recycling program.

More metro residents are recycling than ever before, after the city unveiled an expanded program allowing for more materials to be used.

“We have seen our participation all but double,” said Jennifer McClintock with the Oklahoma City utilities department.

According to McClintock, more than half the homes in the metro area are now recycling, many for the first time.

The new recyclers are making a few mistakes despite their best efforts.

“The other thing that we're seeing a lot of is contamination and that's in the way of plastic bags and bottles that have not been emptied properly,” McClintock said.

A list of recyclable items is available at the top of each recycling bin.

Just because something has the recycle symbol on it, doesn't mean the city can break it down.

“Styrofoam is recyclable. Plastic bags like this are recyclable, but they're not accepted in our program,” McClintock said.

Plastic bags can clog the conveyer belt at the waste management facility, and stall the recycling process for hours at a time.

McClintock said it can happen daily.

“We really need people to follow the guidelines that we have put out,” McClintock said.

The new recycling program is now every other week.

Cans with heavy food residue should also be washed out to prevent contamination.