Frequently Asked Questions

About the Pilot Program
Using the Recycling Carts
Recyclable Items and Processes
Trash and Refuse
2 Cart (Thursday) Pilot Trash Questions
1 Cart (Friday) Pilot Trash Questions
Cart questions

About the Pilot Program

When will the pilot program start?
The pilot will kick off January 24-25, 2019, and will run through May 24-25. Carts will be delivered in mid-January with additional information.

How was my neighborhood selected to participate in the pilot program?
The pilot program areas were selected from existing refuse routes or portions of routes. All refuse customers in the selected areas will be a part of the pilot program.

Are all participants in the same pilot program?
No. There are two pilot programs currently in operation. The programs are running in two separate areas of Broken Arrow. When you have questions, refer to the information in your packet only, as those in the second pilot program may have different instructions for how to handle their trash.

Will the recycling pilot programs make my trash bill increase?
Participation in the pilot program will not affect rates, and the recycling systems being tested in the pilot programs are not expected to increase rates if adopted.

What if I’m selected for the pilot, but I don’t want to recycle?
Recycling will be encouraged, however, it will be voluntary. Everyone who participates will have an opportunity to give feedback on the program throughout the pilot period and that feedback will help determine the direction of the final, city-wide program.

How long will the pilot program last?
The official “pilot” period will last four months, however, the recycling programs will continue to run and operate in the pilot areas until a decision is made on city-wide implementation.

The recycling truck looks oddly familiar. Isn’t that the trash truck?
For this pilot period, we will be using the same truck for both trash and recycling. After picking up trash, the truck will return to pick up your recycling. This will allow us to easily and efficiently track how the program is going. Don’t worry – it doesn’t all go to the same place!

How will curbside recycling affect the M.e.t.?
The M.e.t will continue to provide recycling services, especially for those items that are not collected curbside, such as: motor oil, batteries (household & auto), cooking oil, eyeglasses, phone books, plastic bags, scrap metal, antifreeze and electronic waste.

Many communities that have curbside recycling also have recycling drop off centers. For example, they are used by apartment residents, small businesses, and curbside customers who have a large amount of recyclables (such as packaging from furniture) or do not want to wait until their next collection day to get rid of some recyclables.

Why is Broken Arrow starting a curbside recycling program?
Recycling is an attractive feature for those looking to move into the area and can help them choose Broken Arrow as a great place to live and work. A curbside program will help bring Broken Arrow in line with many communities our size. Recycling also helps stimulate the economy and saves water and energy usually spent on creating new materials. 

How common is curbside recycling in other cities?
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), about 10,000 cities across the U.S. have curbside recycling programs.

Who makes the final decision on the recycling program?
The Broken Arrow Municipal Authority (BAMA) will make the final decision. However, after the pilot projects are completed and all data collected, the information will be presented to the Citizens Recycle Committee for their analysis and comment.


Using the Recycling Carts

Why use carts for the pilot? Why not just collect recycling in bags?
There are several advantages to using the carts:

  • Rolling carts reduces the possibility of litter and debris being spread throughout neighborhoods due to disturbances by animals.
  • Rolling carts provide homeowners with an easier and cleaner method for the storage of trash and recyclables during the time between collection days.
  • Rolling carts easily handle glass and cardboard.
  • Rolling carts provide for a more efficient and safer collection method, as well the possibility of implementing a fully-automated service.
  • The use of rolling carts eliminates the recurring annual expense of purchasing plastic bags.
  • Rolling carts generally contributes to the generation of a better quality of collected recyclables with less contamination.
  • Bags generally contribute to higher recycling processing cost than carts and are problematic for recycle machinery.

Where will I put my carts?
You can choose where to store carts on your property, but most homeowners typically store them in the garage or at the side of the house. The City will work with Homeowners Associations that have covenants restricting the placement of bins outdoors.

I don’t want to participate. Can I use my recycling cart as an extra trash cart?
Unfortunately, the recycling cart is only for recycled goods. Anything that cannot be recycled should be placed in the trash.

What if I accidentally put trash in the recycling cart and don’t realize it?
Our waste management personnel will be tagging any carts that contain non-recyclables with a note to alert you so that you can avoid putting non-recyclable goods in the recycling cart in the future.

What kind of bags do I use in my recycling cart?
All recyclable goods should be put in the cart loose, without any plastic bags. Plastic bags cannot be recycled in this program and will contaminate your cart. If you have small, loose items that you prefer to bag, such as paper or small bottles, paper bags can be used. Any plastic bags that make it into the recycling carts can cause problems at the facility where the recycled goods are processed.

If you’d like to recycle your grocery bags, many stores such as Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Target offer bag drop-off for recycling. Visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org to find the drop-off nearest to you.

Where do I put my carts for trash collection?
Your cart should be set out directly against the curb, on the opposite side of your driveway from the mailbox, with the handle facing the house. The best place for carts, at any time of the year, is at the end of your driveway.

What time of day do I need to have my trash and recycling at the curb?
Trash and recycling should be at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your pickup day.

What if I have more recyclables than will fit in the cart?
If your recycle cart is full, additional recyclables can be placed in paper bags or boxes next to your recycling cart for pickup.

What if I’m physically unable to move my trash carts to the curb?
Please contact the Operations Division at 918-259-8373 with your concerns.


Recyclable Items and Processes

What can I recycle?
When collecting your recycling at home, look for these things:

  1. Glass bottles and jars
    • Ex: Soda bottles, mayonnaise jar
  2. Aluminum and steel cans 
    • Ex: Soda cans, soup cans
  3. Plastic bottles, jars and tubs
    • Ex: Water bottles, detergent bottles, butter tubs, peanut butter jar
  4. Mixed paper and flattened cardboard
    • Ex: Newsprint, printer paper, flattened boxes

Do I need to wash everything out?
Anything containing food (e.g. peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce, etc) should be empty to avoid large food particles or fatty substances being sent to the recycling center, but they do not have to be rinsed.

Do I need to remove labels?
No, it is not necessary to remove labels.

Do I have to remove lids?
Plastic and metal lids should be removed from glass bottles. You may also remove lids on any plastic bottles, but it’s not necessary.

Should I crush my cans before putting them in the cart?
All cans should be placed in the cart intact. Crushing cans before they go to the recycling facility can cause the separators to confuse the flattened cans for other materials such as cardboard.


Trash and Refuse

My family generates a lot of garbage. What if once-a-week trash collection may not be enough for my household?
Residents are encouraged to recycle using their blue recycling container more. The more you recycle, the less garbage is produced. However if you generate additional garbage, it may be bagged and placed next to your cart during this pilot program.

Can I get another refuse/trash cart?
After the pilot project is over, residents can request additional trash or recycling carts by calling the Operations Division. While additional fees may likely apply to having additional trash carts, an extra recycling cart will likely be provided at no additional fee.

Can I opt out of using the trash cart?  
No. Customers in the pilot areas may not opt out of using the cart for trash service, but recycling is voluntary.

What kinds of garbage can I put in the garbage cart? 
All household garbage items should be placed in your black trash cart. Residents are encouraged to use the cart to set out anything that can fit in it, and to minimize the number of extra bags or items set out on the curb. This helps the City collection crews work more efficiently. Trash items may be bagged and tied, then deposited into your trash container for collection. This will keep your cart cleaner and minimize odors.


2 Cart (Thursday) Pilot Trash Questions

Do I have to use the cart for refuse/trash if I’m in the Thursday pilot program?
Yes, if a resident is provided a cart they must use it for the refuse collection services. Other cans or bins will not be serviced.

Do I need to bag my trash? What kind of bags should I use in my cart?
You are welcome to use your Broken Arrow bags for your trash, but you may use any bag you prefer to bag your trash to place in your trash cart.

Will I still receive vouchers for trash bags? Can I redeem any vouchers I still have?
Yes, you will continue to receive and be able to use vouchers during the pilot program.

What if I have more trash than will fit in my trash cart?
If you are using your recycle cart, it is unlikely that you will fill your regular trash cart as well. However, if you find yourself with more trash than can fit in the cart, you may place the excess in closed refuse bags next to the trash cart for pickup at no extra charge.


1 Cart (Friday) Pilot Trash Questions

Where do I place my trash?
You will continue to handle your trash in the same way you did before the recycling pilot, placing your bags at the curb for pickup by the trash service. Trash may be placed on either side of your recycling cart in refuse bags.


Cart questions

When will carts arrive?
Carts will be delivered to the pilot participants between January 21-23. Residents do not need to be present when carts are delivered as there is no set time schedule for each home delivery. Carts will be dropped off at the curb of each resident. If a resident is going to be gone for an extended period of time (days/weeks), they are encouraged to make arrangements with a family member, neighbor or friend to have them move the carts either into the garage or near the house. Residents do not have the option to pick up the carts early or delay the delivery.

Who will own the carts/what is the cost?
The carts are owned by the City of Broken Arrow. Residents do not own the carts, and the carts must staRecycle Cart sampley at the property if residents move away. The cost for the cart is included in the fee for refuse/recycling collection. No additional payment is needed for the carts. 

What are the carts like?
The carts have two wheels as well as handles that allow the cart to be tipped backwards and easily moved.

  • The Black cart is for refuse (Thursday pilot program only)
  • The Blue cart is for recycling (Thursday and Friday pilot programs)
  • Cart Dimensions: 95 Gallon Capacity, 44” high, 30” wide, 33” deep 
  • Cart weight limit is 330 lbs.

What do I do with my old non-city supplied cart?
We encourage you to use your old refuse cans to make things such as rain barrels, compost bins and pet waste digesters. They also make excellent storage containers for bird seed, dog food, lawn implements or other items in your garage.

If you have a plastic or metal refuse can that you need to get rid of, place the empty can at the curb with a marking or note on it that states it is “Trash – Please Take Can.” This will notify the refuse crew you intend for the can to be trash and they will take it with your regular trash.