The Duncan Banner

January 13, 2013

Proposed recycling agreement rewarding for all

Megan Bristow
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — When the Power Shop chose to end their recycling services in May 2012, Duncan residents were left with no alternatives to dispose of their recyclable products.

After an expected contract signing between Waste Connections and the City of Duncan at 3:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, that could change.

District 3 City Council Member Tommy Edwards has been working on a recycling program for Duncan as well as Marlow and Comanche that would give residents the option to participate in curbside recycling pickup.

“We have had a lot of citizens asking about it,” Edwards said. “We started looking into several years ago as a city council. We had some presentations given to us but then the Power Shop opened a recycling center. We backed off it as a city. In the last year, they closed theirs very abruptly. We started looking at it again.”

Edwards, the representative for the Duncan City Council and the Chairman of the South Central Oklahoma Ecological Association, is not asking city citizens to go any greener than he is willing to go himself. In fact, the closing of the recycling center at Duncan’s Power Shop could not even stop him from recycling.

“I believe so much in the recycling that my wife and I did it when the Power Shop had it,” he said. “We are continuing to do it in that we save our plastics and everything. We have a daughter and when we go see her, we take our recycling to Norman. We really do. That is how much I believe in it.

If the contract is signed Monday, Edwards said it would take about 120 days to see the program begin. Waste Connections will have to order both the new recycling carts that will be used plus the new recycling trucks.

“The way this works is the recycling cart will have a microchip in it,” he said. “The truck reads that microchip. You actually gain points from recycling that you put in a recycling bank. We are going to have local restaurants and businesses that will be participating. You can cash those points in towards purchases there. There are also national chains that participate. Once we get this going, we will have an education process where we will be able to tell everybody how this works.”

Although there will be an increase in fees for the additional cart, Edwards said most people will be able to keep the fee down by using less trash carts.

“There will be a fee for another cart but most people use two carts now,” he said. “They will find when they start recycling they can just go to one cart for their garbage and one cart for their recycling. You do not have to sort anything. You put glass and plastic and everything in the one cart. You are still back to two carts. Once everybody gets on board with it, they will not be spending any more than what they are currently spending. When they get so much in their recycle bank, they will pay for that extra cart. It is just a win-win situation for all three of the communities.”

Edwards believes the majority of citizens in Duncan, Marlow and Comanche will find the rewards of recycling to pay for the additional fees. The next step in this green initiative is to sign the contract that will allow the three cities to proceed with beginning recycling. Edwards expects the contract to be signed at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Duncan City Hall.

“We are going green,” he said. “It is going to help the community.”