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The City and the Tulsa Authority for Recovery of Energy (TARE) board have launched a new recycling education program - "Focus on the Four" - to simplify recycling for Tulsa residents.

Why the new program?

WhatCanIRecycle.gifSince the City launched its new recycling program in 2012, the number of Tulsans recycling and the tonnage of recyclables being processed have risen dramatically.

It's good that more Tulsans are recycling, but the City has also seen an increase in items being put into the blue recycling carts that CANNOT be recycled through the City. This leads to a high "contamination rate" at the City's recycling processing center - and that costs the City and resident's money.

The contamination rate is now at 26.82 percent, and it needs to be at 15 percent or less. By lowering the contamination rate, the City will be able to save money on recycling processing fees and trash tipping fees, which in turn keeps trash rates down for residents.

The City is getting back to basics and launching a program to simplify recycling in Tulsa. This simplified approach makes it easy for residents 10 to 100 years old and over every demographic to remember: Focus on the Four and learn more about what can be recycled.

The Program - "Focus on the Four"

This campaign's theme - Focus on the Four - asks Tulsa residents to limit what they put into their blue cart to only four groups of items:

  • Aluminum & Steel Cans
  • Paper & Cardboard
  • Plastic (#1-7)
  • Glass jars and bottles

If there are questions on what can be recycled, go by the rule - "When in doubt, throw it out."


RecyclingCartEach City of Tulsa resident has the opportunity to recycle as a 96-gallon blue recycling cart has been provided to residents. Recycling is NOT mandatory, but is included in all service plan rates.

More than 80 percent of your household waste is recyclable! The more you recycle the less trash you throw out. The less trash you throw out, the smaller the trash cart you need. The smaller the trash cart, the less you pay for monthly collection service.

Learn more about what can and cannot be recycled.

Only recycling placed in City of Tulsa issued recycling carts will be collected

  • Place all recyclables loose in the cart. No need to separate!
  • Do not bag recyclables.
  • Cart(s) must be set out before 6 a.m. on your collection day. The hauler has until 8 p.m. to collect your recyclables.
  • Cart lids must be closed completely.
  • Cart(s) must be removed from the curb within 12 hours after the cart has been serviced.
  • Position carts at the curb with lid opening toward the street
  • Please leave 3 ft. of space between the recycling and refuse carts and place away from any obstruction (i.e. landscaping, light pole, basketball goal, vehicles, mailbox).

Recycling Audits Help Inform Customers on Recycling Practices

The City of Tulsa is required to perform quarterly audits to help avoid high contamination rates among 109,000 Tulsa recycling customers. With the recycling program just over a year old, city staff has found that most citizens have embraced the new recycling system and are recycling more, not just because it keeps refuse rates down, but because it's better for the environment.


City Services
» Refuse and Recycling

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