Thousands of people across Oklahoma City are talking trash. Nearly half of the city's households will have a new day to take their bins to the curb next month, and that is just the first in a series of changes.
The changes affect more than 90,000 households, which make up 45% of the people Oklahoma City serves. They are part of a new master plan that has been in the works for months.
Oklahoma City's population has been increasing at a rate of about 1.5% a year recently. The utilities department has had a hard time keeping up.
Spokesperson Jennifer McClintock said, “With 621 square miles in the city of Oklahoma City, it’s a lot of territory to cover for our trucks.”
Even with help from their contractors at Waste Management, trash and recycling routes were starting to look like a big mess, and the wear and tear was starting to show.
“City trucks were going from one side of the city to another, crisscrossing routes,” McClintock said.
About nine months ago, the city sat down with experts to map out a new solution.
“Instead of having a big jumbled jigsaw puzzle,” said McClintock, “have something that was clean, that was simple, and that helped us all in terms of making these routes more efficient.”
The new plan is a quadrant system, designed to keep growing with the city, and a major addition is the expanded recycling service.
The little blue recycling bins will be no more. The city will start rolling out full-sized recycling carts at the end of February.
McClintock explained, “Everything will go into the same large bin, but we’ll also be able to recycle cardboard at the same time.”
Every household in the city will get a new bin, even those 6,000 that had no recycling service previously. It will take approximately 13 weeks to deliver those to the 195,000 customers across the city, so the pickup for the large carts will not start until late June or early July.
The new routes, however, go into effect Feb. 5.
If you are on the list for a new day, you will receive a postcard in the mail next week then another at the end of the month to remind you. You can also check ahead on your own online, by entering your address at www.okc.gov/mytrashday.