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March 28, 2013

Curbside recycling changes coming

NORMAN — Norman residents will see changes in recycling this fall as a result of a new contract with Allied Waste for biweekly curbside pickup.

The recycling contract, a contract for water with Del City and changes to the city’s lighting ordinance occurred during the late night and early morning hours as the Norman City Council meeting stretched into a lengthy session that ended sometime after 1 a.m.

Starting in August, the change in curbside recycling service from weekly to biweekly pickup will be offset by larger 95-gallon, wheeled polycarts and the addition of cardboard to the collection portfolio.

Allied will work with the city to educate city recycling customers on the change in service. There will be no increase in rate.

The city council also unanimously approved a five-year contract for up to 300 million gallons annually of Del City’s Lake Thunderbird allotment, with the possibility of increasing that to 500 million gallons annually.

Norman is already on mandatory odd/even water conservation because of a 10 percent reduction in the city’s Lake Thunderbird allotment allowed by the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District.

While this will not solve all of Norman’s water concerns, it will alleviate some of the strain.

COMCD reduced the allotments of all three customers — Norman, Del City and Midwest City. Del City relies most heavily on its wells, while Norman gets two-thirds of its water supply from the lake. City leaders indicate Midwest City has not been open to negotiations for its Lake Thunderbird allocation.

As the drought enters its third year, further reductions in the Thunderbird allocation is anticipated.

The five-year contract with Del City will begin May 1 and is subject to renewal for another five years. COMCD has set the price for surplus untreated water for this year at 33 cents per 1,000 gallons, and that is the amount contracted for with Del City.

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