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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws out 4.5 pounds of trash every day. Only about a quarter of that waste is ever recycled. The EPA says recycling protects and expands manufacturing jobs, reduces the need for landfills, reduces pollution, conserves natural resources and saves energy.
Thanks to Edmond’s curbside recycling program, residents can do their part to help the environment. All residents within Edmond city limits receive an 18-gallon recycling bin along with their regular trash bin. The $2.32 fee per month to recycle is included in the basic waste rate, and the recycle bin is collected the same day as trash pick-up, though with different trucks and at different times. Residents can request a recycle bin when they set up their waste account. Waste disposal is considered a utility in Edmond, so the city handles waste disposal, keeping costs down.
All materials turned in for recycling are taken to the Recycle America Recycling Center in Oklahoma City to be processed and shipped out. Recyclable materials include aluminum cans, empty aerosol cans, glass bottles, newspapers, magazines and plastic milk jugs. Plastic food containers marked with a 3 through 7 on the bottom are also accepted. However, egg cartons, Styrofoam, chemicals, oil, packaging materials, cardboard, cereal boxes, tissues and used paper towels are not accepted through this program. For a complete list of what can and cannot be recycled, go to edmondok.com/utility/solidwaste/services/recycling.
For apartment-dwellers, UCO students or those outside the city limits, a recycling center is located at 5300 Recycle Trail, at the corner of I-35 and Covell. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, the recycling center provides a drop-off point for those not able to participate in the curbside program. Cardboard boxes also can be dropped off at the recycling center.
Edmond has a separate recycling program available for household hazardous waste. This waste includes paint, herbicides, aerosols, batteries, fluorescent tubes, oil and gasoline. Electronic waste (known as e-waste), such as televisions, VCRs, computer monitors and kitchen appliances are also included in the hazardous waste recycling program.
Each residence gets one free pick-up per year, as part of their solid waste service. Call (800) 449-7587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a collection time. To dispose of hazardous waste more than once per year, additional pick-ups can be scheduled. There also is a drop-off center in Oklahoma City, but fees will apply. For more information, click on the household hazardous waste link on the city’s website.
According to the website “Improper use, storage and disposal of household hazardous waste is dangerous, and that’s why Edmond Solid Waste Services wants to partner with you to make our homes and neighborhoods safer.”
Edmond also has an annual curbside program for used Christmas trees. Pick-ups can be scheduled or the trees can be dropped off at E.C. Hafer or J.L. Mitch parks. The trees are chipped and turned into mulch, which is given away on a first-come, first-served basis, usually by mid-February. About 15,000 Christmas trees were mulched last year, according to Wesley Dedmon, solid waste superintendent.
In the event of a destructive storm, residents also can also have their tree limbs picked up by Edmond’s field services department, in the event that the mayor declares the storm worthy of a storm collection. Residents are advised to check the city’s website to see if their area is scheduled for a storm collection.
Dedmon said the curbside recycling program has been in place in Edmond for 10 years and has a 70 percent participation rate, which is high for Oklahoma. Dedmon, who was born and raised in Oklahoma and has lived in Edmond for eight years, says, “We’re pretty proud of that.”