Recycling Bins Put Financial Squeeze on M.E.T. Centers

The big blue bins have brought recycling ease to Tulsa and a financial squeeze to the MET.

"We're going to lose about $100,000 in revenue by having less recyclables to sell and put into the market place," said MET director Michael Patton.

And that translates into tough times ahead for some of the 60 developmentally challenged adults who currently work at one of Tulsa's five recycling drop off centers.

"We probably have to close some centers, so the five in Tulsa, we don't think we'll have five, we don't think we need five so maybe three super centers or four is a better option for us," he said.

"It's slow, and Saturday's not usually a slow day," said Tom Harrell. He used to work at the MET but left for another job, and says his friends have noticed the drop off in business. As for folks who might soon be out of a work, Karie Jordan helps employers see the advantages of hiring someone with various challenges.

"It's not the barriers it's the capabilities that they have and not the disabilities that they have," she said.

Tom, for example, has become a go-to guy at Pepsi.

"Some of the people that work at Pepsi come to me and ask questions, and that gives me a good feeling too," he said.

Meanwhile, folks still in recycling are on a conveyor belt towards change.

"Nothing going to happen until after the first of the year, but come spring their might be some dramatic changes," said Patton.