The Whitley County Fiscal Court has been awarded $56,907.78 in environmental funds to clean up five illegal dumps, which are located in three different regions of the county.
The funding will be used to clean-up two illegal dumps off Myers Road and three small dumps off Barnhill Road that were combined into one dump in the Canadatown area.
The funding will also be used to clean-up the Ed Carr Road Dump #2 in the Highway 26 area and the Gatliff Mountain Dump in the Highway 92E area.
Whitley County Project Development Director Amber Owens said that the county will have to provide a 25 percent match to cover the grant amounts.
Owens noted that most of these dumps are small dumps and smaller dumps than the county normally seeks annual grant funding to clean-up, which is a good thing.
She said the county had to actively search this year and had a hard time coming up with the five dumps that will be cleaned up.
Owens said she thinks this is an indicator that Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr.’s dumpster program has been effective at eliminating illegal dumps in the county.
The dumpster program sets up locations three days each month where people can bring items, such as old appliances, to be disposed of for free.
The program is designed to give people a place to dispose of items that the garbage man won’t normally haul away.
The locations for the dumpster program vary each month and are rotated throughout the county.
The county’s illegal dump grant funding is part of $1.75 million in grant funding for the clean-up 139 illegal dumps across 26 counties in Kentucky.
The funding comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund and was announced Friday afternoon by Kentucky Energy and Environmental Secretary Charles Snavely.
“Illegal dumping is a problem that raises significant concerns with regard to safety, property values and quality of life in our communities,” Snavely said. “It is an economic burden on local government that is typically responsible for cleaning up dump sites.”
The Division of Waste Management administers the Kentucky Pride Fund to clean up county dump sites. Funding for the program comes from a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal solid waste disposal facilities. This “tipping fee,” authorized by the 2002 General Assembly under House Bill 174, is collected quarterly and placed in the Kentucky Pride Fund.
The Kentucky Pride Fund is the first legislated and ongoing source of state funding for dump cleanup. Previously, illegal open dump cleanup in Kentucky was primarily funded by county and federal sources.
In 2006, Senate Bill 50 changed the reimbursement program to a grant program. The legislation also expanded the scope of the fund to address household hazardous waste collection and recycling infrastructure, in addition to illegal dump and old landfill projects.
Kentucky has made significant progress in addressing the illegal dump issue thanks to this funding, along with statewide cleanup and educational campaigns by local, state and federal agencies.