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Tulsa considers options to fix green waste program
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Tulsa considers options to fix green waste program

Tulsa considers options to fix green waste program
Photo courtesy: Rickert Landscaping and Tree Service

Tulsa considers options to fix green waste program

The City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Authority for the Reclamation of Energy (TARE) have not seen the new green waste management program perform as hoped, and from the mayor on down many feel it's time to retool.

Kim MacLeod with the city tells KRMG they know they have issues when it comes to handling fallen or cut trees and limbs.

"The green waste curbside program that we've had in place since last October is not really operating the way we had anticipated it would operate," she said. "The volumes have been lower than what TARE anticipated they would be."

She says they'll begin addressing the issue during Tuesday's regular meeting of the authority.

"We should look at our green waste facility, how we're operating it, and we also need to look at what we should do about the curbside green waste program."

One option on the table is to turn it over to the private sector.

Troy Rickerts of Rickerts Landscaping and Tree Service says that's a great idea. "I would run things totally different than the way the city does it, and I'd love an opportunity to meet with the mayor or the city councilors or whatever to see what kind of proposal they might accept or have in mind for the solution to this money pit."

He believes he could operate the system more efficiently.

"I've watched them send out ten trucks and 24 employees and I know what I can do with my crew of three people. With the proper equipment, I can do what 24 employees do with the city."

Matt Newman of Covanta Energy, the company that handles the trash-to-energy branch of the system, tells KRMG they've begun discussing the possibility of taking over the green waste as well.

"We're in preliminary discussions for Covanta to provide a possible solution for the larger materials, the logs and the large branches that need to be ground up," he told KRMG.

MacLeod says whatever TARE decides, they're goal is to create a system that will work for many years into the future.

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