DEQ grant targets unauthorized dumps
County efforts to remove illegal dump sites have received aboost with a $7,314 Solid Waste Assistance Grant from theMississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
“We’re very fortunate to have access to that money,” said RonnieDurr, the county’s litter coordinator.
The money will be put to immediate use on a dump site on BeardRoad where contractors are presently burying an unauthorized dump,Durr said. The site has already received approval from MDEQ to beburied because of the dump’s location would make it difficult toremove the trash.
The grant will also help in the cleanup at an illegal dumpdiscovered last week on Chisholm Drive, Durr said.
“We’ll most likely have to bury this one, too,” he said.
Most dumps can be disposed of by removing the trash, Durr said,but in some cases the type of debris and the difficulty of accessmakes it more efficient to bury the site.
In some cases, he said, county supervisors can bury the site.But often a private contractor has to be hired because of the sizeof the dump and the time it would take to bury it.
“You have to be careful with that money because it doesn’t gofar when you have to hire a backhoe or bulldozer to bury a site,”Durr said.
The MDEQ grant, however, will stretch beyond the Beard Road andChisholm Drive sites that have already been identified, Durrsaid.
“That’s not to say there’s not more out there,” Durr said. “Whenthey do come up, the money is available for us to clean themup.”
The county will clean an unauthorized dump one time at alocation, he said. Afterwards, it becomes the responsibility of theproperty owner to ensure the site remains clean.
The problem, however, is that many of the dumpers know whichproperty owners live away from Lincoln County and use that to theiradvantage, Durr said.
Cities and counties compete for Solid Waste Assistance Grantsthrough MDEQ. The grants are utilized by local communities forprograms to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps; to aid inhiring local solid waste enforcement officers; for public educationefforts on solid waste disposal and recycling; and to establishprograms for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes andrecyclables.