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Lafayette County awarded Solid Waste Assistance Grant

Lafayette County was awarded a solid waste assistance grant of $23,916 that will be used by the county for unauthorized dumpsite cleanup and a solid waste enforcement officer program.

The grant was awarded to Lafayette County by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The grant is apart of MDEQ’s Solid Waste Assistance Grants. The grants can be applied for by cities or counties in Mississippi.

“We use that money for the cost of cleaning up illegal dumping, and also for some litter signs and educational material,” said Jody Harrison, the solid waste manager of Lafayette County. “People don’t realize how expensive it is to clean up an illegal dump site.”

The grants are used by local 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.

“Anytime you can receive grants to help, it is a good thing,” Harrison said. “This simply allows us to recoup some cost which in turn helps Lafayette County keep its sanitation cost as one of the lowest in the state.”

The Solid Waste Assistance Grant is available to municipalities, counties, and multi-county agencies to assist in solid waste management. It is a non-competitive grant which provides funds to county governments based on the State aid road mileage formula.

According to Harrison, there are three things that people can do to make waste management easier on Lafayette County: 1.) Report illegal dumping so they can go after those that are responsible. 2.) Do not litter.  3.) Automated trucks are running over most of the Lafayette county so all garbage cans need to be at least five feet from any structure.

“The Board of Supervisors has done a tremendous job in helping our employees work safer with purchasing these automated trucks,” Harrison said. “By next summer, we will be running five of these trucks.”

The Solid Waste Assistance Grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties. It will assist Lafayette County’s efforts in improving their management of solid waste.

“We have to all work together to keep our county looking good,” Harrison said. “We have some great citizens that walk roads picking up litter, and the Sheriff’s department has started doing it as well. If we all work together, we can make Lafayette County look better than it does.”