By Conrad Dudderar
A push is underway to expand a curbside recycling service in two eastern Canadian County municipalities.
More than 100 Yukon- and Piedmont-area residents have subscribed so far to a recycling collection program offered through the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company Recyclops.
The company has partnered with cities and towns in 18 states to provide this convenient home service.
“We’re in over 170 municipalities in the country,” said Recyclops Vice President Dennis Wise. “We’re all over the place.”
Recyclops is working with Yukon, Piedmont and more than a dozen other Oklahoma communities to educate and inform residents about curbside recycling.
“There’s a push going on,” Wise added. “We want to make sure we notify everybody that this meaningful environmental program option is available.
“Generally, between 18-30% of a given area will participate in this type of program. … This is a subscription service and people have to pay to recycle.”
For some years, City of Yukon officials considered offering curbside recycling to utility customers but decided in early 2021 to partner with Recyclops instead. The City of Piedmont joined last fall.
There is a “real need” for people to recycle materials and reduce greenhouse gases – and this curbside program makes it easier, Wise emphasized.
“It used to be that recycling was a ‘feel-good thing’,” he said. “But there’s no denying we’re at a serious point with environmental factors right now.
“There is something that can be done from a very, very local standpoint – everybody’s home. On average, it takes more than four times the amount of energy to make new products out of raw materials than it does out of recycled materials.”
For people who don’t want to pay a subscription fee, Yukon Sanitation Services provides a drop-off recycling service at 501 Ash where customers can bring their separated recyclables – plastics, glass, tin, aluminum, paper, and cardboard.
The City of Yukon is “still having conversations” about starting its own curbside recycling program, Mayor Shelli Selby said.
“It’s not been ruled out,” Selby noted. “I love recycling and I want curbside recycling. The problem it, it’s so expensive (to operate). The City of Yukon has not taken that off the table.
“Anytime you can recycle, it’s a good thing.”
TIME TO SUBSCRIBE?
Customers may participate in the Recyclops’ program through an annual subscription starting at $12 monthly for every other week pickups and $22 monthly for weekly pickups.
The company’s drivers regularly pick up recycled and reused materials across Yukon, Piedmont and other communities the company serves.
Paying the fee allows subscribers to leave cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, plastic bottles and jugs, paper and newspaper for at-home recycling pickups. Glass may be added for $7 monthly.
Each Recyclops’ subscriber receives an allotment of nine bags per month.
After bags are picked up, they are taken to a nearby recycling facility where they are emptied, sorted and processed.
Through this program, waste that would normally end up in landfills is diverted and recycled for other uses.
Other Oklahoma municipalities that Recyclops has partnered with – besides Yukon and Piedmont – are Bartlesville, Bethany, Claremore, Del City, El Reno, Goldsby, Harrah, Lawton, McLoud, Moore, Noble, Purcell, Slaughterville, and Warr Acres.
“It’s completely separate from the municipality,” Wise explained. “They don’t manage it, they’re not responsible for anything and they don’t answer phone calls.
“We usually like to partner with the municipality (but) we don’t ask for any type of compensation from the municipality and we don’t ask for an exclusive franchise.”
The company’s mission is to “provide access to affordable recycling to all, regardless of where people live.”