Whitley County is one of 25 counties from across the state that will share about $1.06 million in grant funding to clean-up 112 illegal dumps across the state.
“Illegal dumping affects safety, property values and quality of life across the commonwealth,” Energy and Environment Secretary Charles Snavely announced Monday. “This grant program is a great way to assist counties in improving their local communities.”
Whitley County Projects Director Amber Owens said that the county only applied for grant money to clean-up one illegal dump this year in the Spruce Creek area.
The bid process for the dump clean-up is expected to start in February with the clean-up work being completed by the end of the summer, Owens noted.
As part of the grant funding, counties must agree to match 25 percent of the grant amount. The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) may waive the 25 percent match on any individual illegal open dump costing more than $50,000 to remediate.
Funding for the Illegal Open Dump Grant program comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund. The fund is generated through a $1.75 environmental remediation fee per each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal solid waste disposal facilities.
This “tipping fee” was authorized by the 2002 General Assembly under House Bill 174.
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.