NORMAN — Bright blue recycling polycarts have been delivered to Norman’s residential, customers along with information on the new program that starts this month.
Curbside recycling starts today in some Norman neighborhoods, with recycling collections coming on the same morning as regular trash service.
The larger polycarts mean a new era for curbside recycling that now includes cardboard.
“We’re really excited to start with a new contractor who will pick additional items including cardboard, cereal boxes and plastic bags,” Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske said.
Norman is entering into its sixth year of residential curbside recycling and transferring service to a new contractor, Republic Services. So far, 16,844 tons of materials have been picked up for recycling through Norman’s curbside recycling since the program started. The new, large polycarts are lidded to keep debris from blowing out on recycling days.
Recycling will be picked up every other week, and residents can look at the map that came with the information to see which week the recycling starts in their neighborhoods. The recycling map also is available on the city’s website, ci.norman.ok.us. The top link on the left side of the page will lead to details about the new recycling program.
Komiske said he appreciates Waste Management for getting Norman started on recycling and for working with the city to extend service until the new contract with Republic could be put into place.
“We at Republic Services are excited to build upon our partnership with the city of Norman,” said Sean Steves, general manager of Republic. “We have invested over $1 million in new trucks and training of our new drivers.”
The five-year contract with the previous recycling contractor, Recycle America, a division of Waste Management, expired in the spring. Late last year, the city sent out requests for proposals for the next five year curbside recycling contract. The city also considered a proposal to do the curbside recycling in-house.
After the proposals were reviewed, Norman chose Republic Services for the new contract. Republic will use automated vehicles to collect the recyclable materials.
Waste Management will pick up its tubs for recycling, but some tubs may have been missed. Customers can either keep their old tubs and use them as storage bins or put them in the new, blue polycart for recycling.
“The old recycling bins are recyclable,” Komiske said.
While Republic Services has been preparing for successful service through hours of training and preparation, new drivers are on new routes, Komiske said. He asked Norman customers to be patient with service during the first couple of weeks.