WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties have been awarded more than $800,000 to boost recycling, dispose of hazardous household waste and make other efforts to reduce solid wastes.
The grants by the state Department of Ecology were part of $18.8 million disbursed to 95 city and county agencies. The Coordinated Prevention Grants are given to local governments every two years, said Ann Lowe, Ecology spokeswoman.
The city of Walla Walla and Walla Walla County will receive two grants totaling about $405,000 and the city of Waitsburg was awarded $28,500. Columbia County will receive two grants totaling about $198,000 and Garfield County will receive three grants totaling about $190,000.
The largest grants will all be used for programs to collect and dispose of household hazardous waste, provide alternatives to outdoor burning and promote recycling. Other grants will help the counties provide technical assistance and oversee compliance with local and state solid waste regulations.
Two grants will also allow the purchase of wood chippers to provide an alternative to outdoor burning of organic material.
In a release, Ecology officials said grant amounts ranged from $3,000 to $1.5 million. The grants require a 25 percent match by the local recipients, leveraging more than $25 million to support local programs. According to Ecology estimates, the state and local match allocation will support 393 jobs in the state.
"These grants give local governments the resources to provide their residents the services they want and expect," said Laurie Davies, Ecology Waste 2 Resource Program manager. "These are also effective approaches from an economic standpoint. Preventing toxic exposure, reducing wastes and proper management and disposal are smarter, cheaper and healthier than doing costly cleanups later."
Andy Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8318.
Who got what
Walla Walla County
Three grants totaling $434,177.
- City of Walla Walla and Walla Walla County -- $266,792 grant for waste reduction, recycling and composting through education and outreach, household hazardous waste collection and disposal. The city will also update the Solid Waste Management Plan.
- City of Walla Walla and Walla Walla County -- $138,885 grant to provide technical assistance and oversee compliance with local and state waste regulations, including investigating and resolving 300 solid waste complaints or concerns and assisting in the proper handling of five junk or nuisance vehicles.
- City of Waitsburg -- $28,500 grant to purchase a wood chipper to use at spring and fall events as an alternative to outdoor burning or disposal of organic material. Plans call for city to use 25 tons of chipped material as mulch with any remaining material taken to a composting facility.
Two grants totaling $198,020
- Columbia County Public Works -- $177,200 grant to collect and dispose of household hazardous waste; provide alternatives to burning for the city of Dayton and the town of Starbuck, and collect recycling.
- Columbia County Health District -- $20,820 grant to provide technical assistance and oversee compliance with local and state waste regulations.
Three grants totaling $190,112
- Garfield County Public Works -- $103,861 grant for waste reduction and recycling education, recycling collection, recycling facility improvements and household hazardous waste education and collection
- Garfield County Public Works -- $81,751 grant to purchase a chipper. Plans call for the county will hold chipping events to provide residents of the county and the city of Pomeroy an alternative to outdoor burning of organic waste. County staff will hold a minimum of four chipping events and divert 75 tons of wood and yard waste material from outdoor burning or disposal.
- Garfield County Health District -- $4,500 grant to provide technical assistance and oversee compliance with local and state waste regulations.