Southern Oklahoma recycles at the Earth First Expo

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Volunteers and crews from Southern Oklahoma Rural Disposal collect old tires at the Earth First Expo on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Over 800 tires were collected for proper disposal.

Southern Oklahomans flocked to the Ardmore Convention Center on Saturday for a day of recycling, reuse and proper waste disposal at the Earth First Expo. The event, hosted by the Ardmore Beautification Council, allowed people to drop off old tires, electronics, documents in need of shredding, and unwanted household items and clothing. The Ardmore Police Department was also at the event collecting unused prescription drugs.

ABC Executive Director Julie Maher said the turnout was the largest the organization has ever seen for this kind of event with record amounts of tires, documents and electronics collected.

“It was a wonderful day and people really showed up,” Maher said. “We ended up collecting over 800 tires, and there were some that had obviously been in the environment for an extended period of time. We are so proud of our southern Oklahoma residents for cleaning up their property and properly disposing of tires, and we’re extremely grateful to SORD for being there to collect them,” she said, referring to Southern Oklahoma Regional Disposal.

Maher said the electronic recycling was also extremely successful and over ten pallets of electronic waste was collected to be recycled. Items dropped off included old televisions, computers, hairdryers, and toys. These items were collected by United Electronic Recycling and they will now be broken down and separated into plastic and metal components to be reused in new items.

The prescription drug take back also proved incredibly successful.

“Captain (Paul) White with the Ardmore Police Department was there collecting prescription drugs, and he said he’d never seen such a large turnout,” Maher said. “We filled a storage tub big enough to fit a Christmas tree and another medium sized container, and they were jam-packed full.”

While many of the items dropped off were set for disposal, two local nonprofit organizations were in attendance to gather items for reuse as well as other donations.  Sunshine Industries collected an entire trailer full of things to sell at their thrift store, and the Ardmore Animal Shelter collected a truck full of food, toys, kitty litter, blankets and towels.

“We really love coordinating with nonprofit organizations to make our community an even better place to live,” Maher said. “We are also extremely thankful for all of the volunteers and our corporate partners who helped make the Earth First Expo possible. It was a fabulous event, and we’re so happy to provide opportunities for our community to recycle and help other nonprofit organizations.”