County given waste grant
by Rory Doyle
Jul 17, 2013 | 872 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality recently awarded Bolivar County a solid waste assistance grant of $17,286 that will be used for cleaning up illegal dumps throughout the county.

The agency also awarded a waste tire grant of $46,544 to continue the local collection program for small quantity generators of waste tires.

County Administrator Will Hooker said he was thrilled to receive the illegal dump cleanup grant for the first time.

"On behalf of the county, we truly appreciate both grants," said Hooker. "We want the citizens to take pride in their communities and these grants should go a long way in doing that."

Cities and counties are eligible to apply for Solid Waste Assistance Grants through the MDEQ to be utilized in their respective areas.

The funding is put toward programs that prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps; aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers; generate public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling; and establish programs for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes and recyclables.

"The Bolivar County Board of Supervisors recognizes that making the most of this grant money is going to take a team effort through local support, municipal support and most importantly, dedication from our citizens."

Hooker said taxpayers bear the burden of costs associated with cleaning up the illegal sites, which includes labor, transportation and dumping fees to bring the garbage to a landfill in Washington County.

Bolivar County does not have a dumping site that accepts everything a landfill will sustain.

If illegal dumping can be eliminated, Hooker said the grant money could be used for more proactive environmental activities, instead of focusing solely on criminal, harmful and pointless dumping.

"Cleaning up illegal dumping is just one phase. At some point, we have to create a mindset that illegal dumping needs to stop," added Hooker. "We need to work together to have the clean community we deserve."

While both grants are much appreciated, Hooker said he hopes for social change to help expand the cleanup effort and receive larger MDEQ grants.

Funding for waste tire grants is provided by a waste tire account funded from a fee charged on the wholesale sale of every new motor vehicle tire sold in Mississippi.

This fee provides the funds to ensure and encourage the proper management and disposal of waste tires in the state.

Information about this grant program and other initiatives is available at

www.deq.state.ms.us/solidwaste.