OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In celebration of Earth Day, city leaders in Oklahoma City are encouraging residents to recycle correctly in order to ‘go green.’

The Oklahoma City Utilities Department has a few tips to make sure you tackle spring-cleaning projects correctly:

  • Don’t recycle plastic bags or put your recycling inside a plastic bag.
  • Do not put food in your recycling bin
  • Make sure all containers are empty, clean, and dry
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Recycle only what’s listed on the city’s website.

Last year, Oklahoma City customers sent more than 24,500 gross tons of recyclable goods to recycling facilities.

Officials say if you are new to recycling, start simple with cardboard, paper, and aluminum cans.

City officials had a few other tips to help on Earth Day:

  • Try composting: Raked leaves and grass clippings make a great base for a compost pile. Toss in vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and other organic material. Add in water from time to time, stir frequently, and let stew. Before you know it, you’ll have a nutrient-rich soil additive.
  • Mulch grass clippings: Toss dead leaves and grass clippings into your flower bed and till them with existing soil. You can also let grass clippings rest on top of your lawn to create mulch that helps grass roots.
  • Return meds properly: Try returning medications to a local pharmacy or sheriff’s office. You can find a drug disposal location at Drug Disposal – Safe. Pharmacy and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
  • Check for leaks: Basic household leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water annually.  Perform a quick toilet leak check in your home by listening for running water, and/or performing a color drop test. Simply add a drop or two of food coloring to the toilet tank and wait ten minutes. If color ends up in the toilet bowl, you may have a silent leak. Try fixing or replacing the flapper or call a plumber if you need additional help. Other places to look include under each sink, and behind your dishwasher and/or washing machine.
  • Water wisely: Make sure you water only what your grass needs and check your sprinkler system for broken or missing heads, high pressure, or misdirected heads.

If you want to help preserve pollinator habitats this Earth Day, OG&E is here to help.

OG&E team members will give away free pollinator seed kits in the following communities:

  • Pauls Valley, Okla. |4/22 | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  | First United 315 W. Grant Ave
  • Ardmore, Okla. | 4/23 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Thompson Square on Broadway
  • Norman, Okla. | 4/24 | 12 – 5 p.m.| Andrews Park, 201 W Daws St.

“Bringing awareness to the importance of sustaining pollinator habitats to our customers and communities is a unique role OG&E can play,” said Usha Turner, Energy Policy Director at OG&E.  “Most plants, including fruit and grain crops, rely on pollinators, so they are critical to our food supply. We want to remind customers that they can support these important creatures in simple ways, such as planting flowers and other plants important to pollinators in their own backyards.”