The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is notifying local governments they can apply for state funds to make solid waste improvements.
The money comes from the Oklahoma Solid Waste Management Act which allows DEQ to help local government with cleaning up illegal dumps, hiring trash cops and developing centers to manage bulky waste. The Act created a system of state solid waste fees to help fund DEQ’s environmental protection programs.
The funding program is administered directly by county governments through the Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering Districts Board. The funds from this program are limited.
This Act also seeks to stimulate recycling by helping governmental agencies acquire recycling equipment. During this fiscal year approximately $200,000 may be available for local governmental agencies to help purchase recycling equipment.
Oklahoma is a national leader in a unique aspect of recycling.
“The law directs DEQ to use materials recovered from solid waste to restore lands damaged by oil and gas production and mining. In partnership with local conservation districts and sub-state
planning agencies, we have enjoyed encouraging successes. Through the application of organic materials we have been able to restore barren waste lands into productive pastures,” said DEQ’s Land Protection Division Assistant Director Fenton Rood.
Applications for funding will be accepted by DEQ beginning July 1, 2018. Assistance will be provided to local governments until the funds are exhausted.