County receives $15K MDEQ grant
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced on Monday that it had awarded Oktibbeha County a solid waste assistance grant in the amount of $15,567.
MDEQ says the money will be used for a local solid waste enforcement officer and a dumpsite, however county officials say the money will primarily be used for solid waste cleanup efforts currently underway.
“The Solid Waste Assistance Grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties, and this grant will assist Oktibbeha County's efforts in improving their management of solid waste,” said MDEQ Executive Director Gary Rikard.
Grants like the one recently issued to Oktibbeha County are used by communities for programs to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps; to aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers; for public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling; and to establish programs for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes and recyclables.
Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer said the county is grateful for having received the grant funds over the years, but the amount of money given can only do so much.
“We've used it several times to clean up illegal dump sites,” Trainer said. “I wish it was 10 times as much.”
County Administrator Emily Garrard said the funds would serve to help sustain the current efforts of the board and the county will not create an additional position with the grant money.
Garrard said a Buildings and Grounds Department employee currently serves the county in this capacity.
“What we do is we clean up illegal dump sites where people have thrown something over the bridge or something and have an outside contractor for that,” Garrard said.
Trainer said he would like to see the county be able to hire a full solid waste cleanup team, because of the size of the county.
“We would have to have some county money to make that happen,” Trainer said.