Lawton has implemented the new rules and guidelines for bulk pickup for just over a month now, and with all of the comments and complaints on social media, it was worth randomly testing to see how it's working.

On April 7, 2023, the new guidelines reaffirmed the limits of bulk pickup and added a fine for violating the rules.

Have too much bulk in your pickup? That'll be a $133.35 fine added to your next utility bill.
Put out your bulk pickup out too early? $133.35 extra.
Did you include trash that wouldn't fit in your regular cut-trash collection cart? Yep, $133.35

As you can imagine, after having trash and refuse service cut in half while also bumping the price up, it has not been a very popular topic in regard to the City of Lawton at all. Not unpopular enough to get people out to vote, but just enough to get people whipped into a fury of hollow complaints online.

The biggest complaint by far was additional fine since the solid waste department hadn't had the most reliable reputation up to that point in April. It seems the bulk trash sits around for weeks until it's picked up, so with the new rules and guidelines literally on the line, we opted to test it out to see for ourselves.

Over the last month, a few of us in Area 1 of the solid waste map gathered a bunch of stuff to be put out last week for bulk pickup.

Between the six of us in our area, we had eleven mattresses, five appliances, and one giant pile of limbs and brush. We set everything out last Tuesday and waited to see what happened.

I admit, curiosity got the best of me. I actually reached out to the Solid Waste Department and asked how it worked. I was wondering if I needed to let them know I had bulk waste set out, or if they would just drive around until they found it.

The super-polite person on the other end of the call said that the fleet of bulk pickup trucks will cruise through each neighborhood and gather whatever they find. The plan was to sit and wait.

Wednesday--AKA--Bulk Pickup Day:

The workday came and went and to my surprise, all of the homes that had bulk pickup set out that day in my neighborhood still had stuff in their yards. My pile of mattresses was still in my front yard too... and with the rain that fell, it couldn't come back in all wet. It would have to sit in the yard.

Bulk Pickup Day+1--Thursday:

The neighborhood was still full of bulk pickup goods as I came into work the next morning. As more rain came in, I started getting texts from my fellow trash testers about what we were going to do about all of these wet mattresses. Now that they were probably twice the weight, the thought of having to load these up and haul them off ourselves was daunting... but everyone calmed down and decided to give the situation due diligence and patience.

Coming home Thursday afternoon, the bulk waste was gone from two of our tester homes, but still sitting around soaking wet at the other four.

PB Day+2--Friday:

I may have gotten a little ahead of myself on this day. I had so many questions and not enough work to keep my mind off the possible outcomes. Just about that time, I got a notification from my driveway camera. It was a trash truck picking up the mattresses in my yard.

By the time the rest of us sat down to our Cinco de Mayo fiesta dinner that night, all of our bulk waste had been picked up.

Christine Glade
Christine Glade

Bulk Pickup Day-ish...

As it turns out, Lawton's bulk pickup day isn't actually just your area's designated Wednesday. While they may start midweek, the roving crews have the rest of the week to pick up all of your bulk. Depending on how much stuff people set out in your area, it could be same-day, next-day, or three-day service to get it all picked up.

With the threat of additional fines being levied on residents from our white-collar know-nothing politicians, it's nice to see this tremendous success from our blue-collar solid waste professionals.


With diesel still so expensive, it might make more sense to come up with a bulk pickup schedule so these big trucks don't have to just roam the streets looking for refuse. Sort of in that same sense as UPS or FedEx drives, planned routes to be as efficient as possible type of thing... but I'm sure the price of fuel isn't a concern in this town. After all, the city council can always just hike the price up on the water bill again like they've always done.

If you have bulk trash that you'd like to have picked up at the house, here is the complete guide as to when that happens in your neighborhood.

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