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Trash Board Proposes to Keep Burning Green Waste

Matt Trotter

A new plan would take Tulsans’ green waste to the incinerator.

The TARE board will vote Aug. 5 to solicit bids for curbside pickup and hauling to the incinerator. Vice Chairman Paul White said the new plan meets all the board’s criteria.

"We have to implement a plan that is cost-effective, operationally feasible, customer-friendly and environmentally responsible," White said.

If the plan goes forward, White said as few changes will be made as possible, so customers would likely continue putting green waste in clear plastic bags next to their trash carts.

City Councilor Karen Gilbert chaired a green waste task force that issued recommendations for Tulsa's green waste program. She says a poll indicates citizens want to mulch or compost for a cleaner Tulsa.

"If that's what we're trying to do, why are we sending more and more and more waste to be burned?" Gilbert said. "And have those toxins being sent up into the atmosphere?"

According to Covanta’s website, Tulsa's incinerator has a three-step pollution control system and can generate enough electricity to power almost 17,000 homes.