By Brian Barber Tulsa World Staff Writer

Tulsans are evenly divided over plans to switch to a trash system in which carts would be issued and collection could go to once a week for the entire city, a new Tulsa World-sponsored poll shows.

Of those in the scientific survey, 46 percent somewhat to strongly oppose the plan, while 45 percent somewhat to strongly support it.

SoonerPoll.com CEO Bill Shapard, whose firm did polling on Tulsa trash issues last year for a mayor’s task force, said he thinks the new results are positive news for the city’s trash board, which is spearheading the effort.

“I think the tide could be turning,” he said, noting that the results from his summer 2010 polling indicated the majority of residents didn’t want any changes to their trash service.

If the board – formally known as the Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy – mounts an effective educational campaign about the trash system and the benefits of the switch, it could capture a majority of support, Shapard said.

“I think the numbers we’re seeing could change considerably as people become more understanding of the realities of the current system and that change is inevitable,” he said.

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Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.

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