City Of Tulsa Says Recycling Plant Should Be Back Open By End Of The Year

Tuesday, October 19th 2021, 7:44 pm
By: Emory Bryan

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa’s residential recycling program could restart by the end of the year.

The recyclables picked up curbside have been disposed of with the trash since April, when a fire destroyed the equipment used to sort recyclables.

An estimated eight million pounds of products that could be recycled are primarily being incinerated while the machinery is being rebuilt.

Paul Ross, a Vice President with American Waste Control, said the new equipment will come with upgrades that handle the evolving flow of materials, primarily packaging for drinks and other products. For the first time, the 25-30 employees who work in the plant will be assisted with robotic sorting machines that will help speed up the flow of materials.

“It will be top of the line, technology in terms of recovering recyclables, keeping them out of the landfill, making them into new products,” said Ross.

Robert Pickens, another VP with American Waste Control, said the new plant would have greater capacity to handle what’s expected to be increasing amounts of recyclable goods, as more consumers choose products in packaging that can be recycled, and more utility customers adopt recycling practices at home.

While the recycling in Tulsa has stopped, the once-a-week pickup is unaffected. Suburban communities that recycle also use American Waste Control, and some of that is hand sorted at the plant.

Ross said the new equipment for the plant will start arriving next week and should be installed and working by the end of the year.