Local governments can submit an application to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for funds aimed at solid waste improvements.
The Oklahoma Solid Waste Management Act (Act) affords DEQ resources that can help local governments with things such as cleaning up illegal dumps, hiring environmental enforcement officers, and developing centers to manage bulky waste. The Act created a system of state solid waste fees that help fund DEQ’s environmental protection programs.
The funds can also help local governments develop better methods of handling solid waste including brush. The Act directs DEQ to invest in projects to help implement county solid waste
management plans. The funding program is administered directly by county governments through the Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering Districts Board.
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.
Partnerships with local governments allow DEQ to make the best use of available resources.
“Local governments understand local environmental needs. From assistance in hosting household hazardous or e-waste collection, or aid in investigating illegal dumping, DEQ solid waste funding agreements are a tool we offer to help drive locally initiated environmental improvement projects” said Patrick Riley, DEQ manager of Solid Waste and Sustainability.
Applications for funding are now being accepted by DEQ. Assistance will be provided to local governments until the funds are exhausted.