NORMAN — When Norman utility customers began their venture into the world of curbside recycling in 2008, excitement was high. Participation reached upward of 50 percent of all households. Some people couldn’t wait to put their green baskets on the curb.
Since then, however, interest has dropped. Only about 40 percent of the city’s utility customers regularly use their recycling bins, even though all pay a monthly fee. The city may take the service in-house rather than continuing with a private contractor.
Any changes, whether with city crews or continuing with a private contractor, will have to go before the Norman City Council in coming weeks. It would be similar to the garbage pickup changes made when we went from trash cans to polycarts. Then, we went from twice-a-week service to once a week, with one day for yard waste pick-up.
A biweekly pickup of recyclables in a larger, designated polycart is proposed. There also is discussion of adding multi-family to the recycling mix. Currently, apartment complexes do not have recycling dumpsters on site.
With some time for public education, the plan could work and participation could increase, especially with buy-in from apartment complexes. The goal remains the same today as it was in 2008: Continue to divert materials from landfills and reuse recyclable items.