UPDATE: Midwest City’s recycling program begins with overwhelming success

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – Changing habits can be a long process but a new recycling program in Midwest City is celebrating a very successful start.

In fact, city leaders are taken aback at the response.

The big blue recycling bins showed up at Midwest City homes over the summer.

In its first two months, the program has proven to be incredibly popular.

During the first month, close to a half-million pounds of trash was recycled.

The 95-gallon bins leave room for a lot to be recycled and are picked up every other week, alongside the trash.

While the program initially had a little resistance from some in the community, numbers show it has actually taken off.

Bill Janacek, with the Midwest City Environmental Services Department, said, “We’ve been getting a lot of calls now about why can’t we go to once a week.”

In the first two months of the program, the city has averaged about 65 percent participation from residents, an amazing feat since the national average is just 42 percent.

Janacek said, “I believe people are becoming, I like to use this term a lot, more environmentally aware.”

The program has already kept more than 238 tons of material out of area landfills, which will help the community move forward.

Janacek said, “There’s only a certain amount of time left on landfills.”

The city says there are a few kinks they are still working out, mainly confusion on which week the recycling is picked up.

Midwest City is actually one of three communities in the metro to start recycling this summer.

Norman and Edmond have also started similar programs.