Tulsa's 'TARE' Board Suspends Greenwaste Fee

Tulsa's trash board says it is suspending the sticker fee for greenwaste collection in an effort to regain the public's trust, after issues were discovered with the recycling process.

"A lot of our citizens were upset. Our customers were not happy, because they felt as though they had possibly been misled," said Roy Teeters with the city's Streets and Stormwater Department.

With word coming down recently that equipment issues have led the city's greenwaste to be burned with the rest of the trash and not recycled, as promised, Tulsa's trash board found itself facing an image problem with city residents.

Teeters said, "Until we can set a clear course of direction that our customers understand, [TARE] thought it would be best not to charge for the plastic bags."

The Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy, or 'TARE', made the announcement Tuesday, suspending the fee for stickers, used to tag curbside greenwaste bags. But, will Tulsans see the fee make a comeback? "There's no guarantee that it will, but there's no guarantee that it won't," said Teeters. "There's going to be some studying being done and some research into what the best practice would be and it could, possibly, come back."

Don't throw away those stickers, just yet, though. Teeters says, the stickers do still hold some value. "Either, we will re-institute the requirement for stickers, which they could be used, or there may be another value of them. I just really recommend that people not dispose of their stickers and that they hang on to them," Teeters said.

He added that this is just the first step in what could be a long list of changes for the program. Customers will likely see amendments to the existing process, as the city hopes to avoid any repeats of past issues.

"We can expect that there will be some changes down the road, a little bit to better-simplify the process and to make it an easier process for our customers," said Teeters.