I can still recall my astonishment when I had my first
experience with pop-bottle carpeting. Made of recycled plastic
beverage bottles, the carpet is soft, it's pretty, and it's hard
to tell the difference from carpeting made of more conventional
Pop-bottle carpeting may be viewed in the Oklahoma Department
of Central Services, located on the first floor of the State
Capitol. But that's old news.
This week, Paula Hearn, department director, presented
reporters with copies of the Catalog of Recycled Products
available through Oklahoma state contracts. Taking seriously the
legislative mandate for state government to encourage use of
recycled materials, the department has compiled a list of
suppliers to make it easy for agency buyers to use recycled
Some of the recycled stuff costs more than cycled stuff, but
some of the products are cheaper, too, she said. So when it comes
to the question of whether recycled products are more expensive,
it's really a wash.
"Unless there is a market for goods made from recycled
materials, there will be no incentive for businesses to collect
and remanufacture items made out of recyclable materials," the
catalog said. "This is called closing the loop."
Using the catalog, agency buyers can shop for recycled laser
printer toner cartridges. That's just the tip of the iceberg,
because also available are pads, scratch and telephone;
multipurpose cut sheet office paper; "guides" and much more.
Gov. David Walters said Fort Howard Co. in Muskogee makes a
lot of the products, so use of recycled paper materials is not
only environmentally friendly, but it also helps create a market
for some Oklahoma manufacturers. . .
Foundation May Aid State Finance Authorities
A state industrial development foundation to fund relatively
small economic development loans to communities might be what
Oklahoma needs, believe officials of the Oklahoma Finance
Jay Casey, authority president, and Jim Fulmer, executive vice
president, said they've approached the Oklahoma Bankers
Association with the idea, and plans are in the works.
The foundation would be operated under the auspices of the
bankers' association. The Oklahoma Industrial Finance Authority
and Development Finance Authority would be able to use the
foundation on a statewide basis to fund smaller loans, and it
would save the borrowers from having to pay a lot of up-front
fees that are involved with going through trust authorities,
The bankers' association seems initially receptive to the
idea, Casey said. All financial services of the foundation would
be marketed through the association.
"We want to provide financing for smaller enterprises at the
least amount of cost to them," Casey said.
Trust authorities have legal requirements to fulfill, such as
posting public notices, and fees can quickly mount up for the
borrowers, Fulmer said. A foundation, even though it would be
non-profit, is a private operation that is not subject to the
Some communities already have foundations that small borrowers
could work with, but a lot of places don't, according to Casey
and Fulmer. . .
Relations Between GM, Local Suppliers Encouraged
With General Motors Corp.'s announcement that the Oklahoma
City assembly plant would not be among those targeted for
closing, Gov. David Walters was asked this week if state and
local government officials have anything in mind to help
reinforce the plant's viability.
Walters said state officials try to think of things that would
be very helpful to the plant's improved bottom line. One thing is
to encourage the corporation to develop relationships with local
suppliers, he said.
"The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the state
Department of Commerce have been meeting regularly with them and
encouraging them to make that happen," Walters said this week at
his news conference. …