History was made in Graham today, as the city is now the only location in Texoma to offer residents curbside recycling at no additional cost.
As Progressive Waste Management, the company that handles trash in Graham, gets new trucks and trash cans, and the city streamlines garbage collection, what would be an $18,000 dollar a month service is available for free. But the change from alley dumpsters to polycarts is a change that has some residents upset.
"Two thirds of the town is still in alley dumpsters vs being in curbside polycarts. So the controversy is they want to remain in what they are comfortable with," Progressive Waste Solutions Representative Mike Gaver explained.
Gaver says that getting rid of the alley dumpsters is actually a positive. Many people who live outside of Graham will illegally dump debris in or near the alley dumpsters. Now...
"They are not going to dump it in the alley because there will be no dumpsters," Gaver said.
Graham's trash is actually 25 percent heavier than other Texoma cities, in part because of this illegal dumping and contractors leaving construction equipment in the alleyways near the dumpsters.
Joel Williams currently heads Graham's recycling efforts.
"I think once they realize how much can go into their recycling bin, as opposed to how much goes in the trash, they'll probably get on board," Williams said.
He said what started in a trailer two years ago has grown significantly.
"It has grown from a seven ton dumpster every 6 weeks, to one every two and a half to three weeks," Williams explained.
Williams said Graham first experimented with recycling in schools and city administration buildings. He's hoping that with it being more accessible in the future more people will participate.
Gaver said this new trash and recycling program will start sometime next summer, because they want to ease Graham residents into the transition.
"Graham is moving forward, moving into the future, and its just a win win for everybody," Gaver said.