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Temporary Early Trash, Recycling Pickup to Begin May 10

This article was archived on 8/8/2021

Starting May 10, curbside trash and recycling pickup for Tulsa residential customers will begin at 5 a.m. temporarily. Customers should have their trash and recyclables out at 5 a.m. or put it at the curb the night before, to be sure they are not missed. Pickup times may change with this new schedule.

Since a fire occurred in early April at the City of Tulsa’s contracted recycling process facility, Tulsa Recycle and Transfer (TRT), the City is sending both trash and recycling to the Covanta Waste for Energy Plant until TRT resumes operation. Because TRT also is not available to other municipalities in the Tulsa area, trash and recycling trucks have been waiting in long lines at Covanta to drop off their loads. Tulsa’s trash and recycling haulers are adjusting their pickup times for efficiency to reduce their waiting time at the waste for energy plant.

TRT reported that the fire started due to recycling contamination from a lithium-ion battery. Since the beginning of the residential recycling program in Tulsa, the City has continued to push the importance of not contaminating the recycling stream. The City’s educational campaign “Recycle This, Not That” highlights items that should be included in the recycling stream including aluminum and steel cans, paper and cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs, glass jars and bottles. All batteries should be recycled through the M.e.t. and specialized battery operators/stores. M.e.t. Depots remain open for Tulsa residents and locations can be found at

It is not known at this time when the trash and recycling pickup time will return to the usual 6 a.m. start. The earlier schedule will be reviewed in three months for effectiveness.