Go Green with the City of Oklahoma City


Wednesday, August 13th 2008, 4:36 pm
By: News 9


Did you know...

  • Oklahoma City generates about 275,000 tons of trash a year. Only about 3% of that is recycled.
  • Plastics do not decompose in landfills.
  • Oklahoma City landfills could be full within the next few decades - unless we recycle more.

Once a week...

  • On your 6 a.m. weekly collection day, have the Big Blue trash cart on the curb with lid closed, ready for the trash truck to arrive. All trash, including bagged yard waste, should be inside Big Blue. Be sure to bag all waste before placing it in the cart.
  • Big Blue should face the street but not be in the street. Make sure trash trucks can get to your cart. Place it at least five feet from obstacles, such as mailboxes, shrubs, fire hydrants and cars. It's best not to park in the street on collection day.
  • Keep your neighborhood neat and clean by putting the empty Big Blue cart away as soon as possible or at least by 8 p.m. the next day.

Once a month...

  • Have waste items that are too big for Big Blue? No problem. Set the big junk out for monthly Bulk Waste Day - but no earlier than three days before. Early set out makes the city a mess and violates city ordinance. Fines could be up to $500.
  • Monthly bulk waste collection days are printed on utility bills and available by calling 405-297-2833.
  • Remember to keep bulk waste 10 feet away from overhead obstacles and five feet away from mailboxes, Big Blue carts, parked cars, etc. It's best not to park on the street on collection day.

Bulk waste includes large and small household appliances, furniture, mattresses and carpet, large cardboard boxes, trees and limbs (no need to bundle) and fencing.

The City will pick up refrigerators and colling devices containing freon if citizens do the following:

  • Call 405-297-2833 to schedule the pick up
  • Remove the doors

Once in a while...haul off hazardous waste

The Stormwater Quality division operates the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at 1621 S. Portland.

The Center provides an environmentally safe means for citizens to dispose of hazardous waste, with a staff of seven full time hazardous materials specialists. They'll recycle or safely dispose of your leftovers.

The Center is open Tuesday through Friday 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., and on Saturday 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. The center is free to Oklahoma City residents. Bring your City water bill as proof of residency.

Residents of The Village, Yukon, Tinker Air Force Base, Shawnee and Edmond can recycle their waste at the facility, but will be charged for the service through their municipality.

For more information on proper disposal call 405-682-7038.

They take:

Propane, gasoline, lubricants, motor oil, brake fluid, degreasers, antifreeze

pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer

computer equipment (remove personal info before recycling)

CFL and fluorescent lightbulbs

swimming pool chemicals

furniture polish, household cleaners (including oven, drain and toilet bowl cleaners)

mercury

paint and thinner

Do not pour chemicals into a single container. Leave them in their original packages.

Some household products, although harmless in themselves, can be toxic when mixed.

What we can't take:

radioactive waste

biomedical waste

commercial hazardous waste

refrigerant and compressed gas containers

tires

Some products in your home (certain paints, stains and varnishes, cleaners, polishes, automotive products, pesticides and herbicides) may contain hazardous components. The used or leftover contents of these products are known as "household hazardous waste".

If thrown in the trash these items can contaminate our environment. This pollution can effect streams, lakes, wildlife, and possibly even our drinking water.

Don't Throw Hazardous Waste in the Trash

Disposing of household chemicals in your trash is dangerous. When mixed, household chemicals such as bleach and ammonia cause poisonous gases and fumes or cause fires. Even if you are careful and keep chemicals separate in your own trash, your garbage does not stop at the curb.

When residential trash is collected, it is compacted in the garbage truck to make room for more trash. When compacted, chemical containers can break and their contents mix with other chemicals. Depending on the chemicals involved, the resulting reaction may create toxic smoke, fumes, and fires and injure collection workers, pets, neighbors, family members, and the environment.

Tips for Managing Household Chemicals

When purchasing household and lawn chemicals, paint products, or automotive products, keep in mind how you plan to use, store and dispose of each product and its container.

Only buy what you need. Don't "stock up" on products you'll never use. It can cost almost as much or more than the purchase price to properly dispose of household chemicals.

Whenever possible, purchase alternatives to environmentally hazardous household chemicals.

Read labels and use only as directed.

Ask your neighbors and friends if they need any of the products you do not use.

Store hazardous materials in cool, dry areas away from children and pets.

Keep materials in original containers or properly labeled.

With proper care, empty containers can be disposed of safely.