The Norman Transcript

August 22, 2013

Mulch ado about something


The Associated Press

NORMAN — City Manager Jim Twombly says he became aware of problems at the city’s green-waste program in November, but he didn’t tell Mayor Dewey Bartlett about it.

He should have.

Bartlett said he didn’t learn about the situation — the city wasn’t able to process bagged yard waste at its mulching center, so it was just hauling it to the trash-to-energy plant like ordinary garbage — until he read about it in the newspaper this month.

As a result of the political fallout of the mess, some are suggesting the city needs to refund green-waste fees and others are saying Tulsa should abandon the whole idea.

Neither of those plans make sense to us.

The consumers got what they were paying for, if not in the way it was supposed to happen. Their yard waste was hauled away and recycled after a fashion.

The same reasons the mulching plan made sense when it was started still apply. Green waste is a resource that is successfully being mulched in communities around the nation and Oklahoma.

So, don’t refund the money or abandon the concept.

We can’t help but suspect that if the city’s leadership had been more focused on the problem as it was developing, things wouldn’t have come to this.

The key point now is cleaning up the mess and getting the system working the way it should have from the beginning.

— Tulsa World