Tulsa runs into trouble with green waste

Tulsa promises to compost yard waste, then burns it

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently revealed that yard waste collected from residents has been burned for energy instead of composted into mulch as the city promised it would be.

As part of expanded composting and recycling efforts that launched last year, the city began adding an average of $1.09 to each customer's monthly garbage bill in exchange for the green-waste service.  Residents were also required to put the organic material in plastic bags identified by special stickers that cost 50 cents each.

Earlier this month, however, officials said during a public meeting that since January almost all of the material collected has been incinerated, a disclosure that has caused residents to clamor for refunds.

The controversy has also become a talking point in the city's current race for mayor. "This is about trust in government," candidate and former mayor Kathy Taylor told the Wall Street Journal. "Those stickers have become worthless currency. They, too, have essentially gone up in flames."

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