TULSA - Once-a-week trash pickup will soon be instituted in Tulsa after the city came to an emergency short-term agreement Monday.
The Tulsa Authority for Recovery of Energy (TARE) Board voted late Monday afternoon that NeWSolutions , Tulsa's supplier slated to start in October, would handle the city's waste three months ahead of schedule.
The new trash system will begin its transition July 1. Tulsans will continue to have unlimited curbside disposal through September.
The new agreement means trash pick-up will change from twice-a-week to once-a-week service, resulting in a base rate decrease to $10.52.
Recycling will also be suspended until customers receive new carts. The board says trash and recycling carts will be sent out beginning July 16.
TARE expects to distribute 12,000 to 15,000 carts a week and 232,000 carts overall.
"We didn't want to confuse customers as they transition from one system to the other. So it was better to say, that when customers get that new blue cart, they can start using it," said Eric Lee, the city's solid waste services manager.
Members of the TARE board voiced concerns that Tulsa Refuse Inc. (TRI) would not be able to effectively manage the entire city's trash during the interim. TRI's contract ends June 30 after more than 30 years.
"We hoped the current contractor would be able to enter an agreement with us to pick up residential trash during the interim period, but because their operations have diminished, we must move forward with an alternative plan," said Cheryl Cohenour, TARE chairwoman. "We now have an effective solution that will reduce customers' rates and transition the community slowly into the new program. This approach ensures trash will be picked up during the transitional period, as well as when the new system begins in its entirety in October."
Cohenour believes this is the best solution.
"This way we guarantee that your trash will be picked up and there'll be as little change in your normal day to day lives as possible. And it will probably help us segway into the new system a lot easier," she said.
No formal deal will be reached until both TARE and NeWSolutions have signed the new contract.