Forrest and Lamar counties are the recipients of a total of more than $76,000 in grants from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality that will help with the counties’ waste collection, dumpsite cleanup and white goods collection programs.
Lamar County received the majority of those funds, with $30,176 that will be used for a white goods collection program and a $30,000 two-year waste tire grant that will continue the county’s waste tire collection program for small quantity generators of waste tires.
“Lamar County has been successful in obtaining the MDEQ Solid Waste Assistance Grant for several years running now,” county administrator Jody Waits said. “This grant allows us to operate the Saturday White Goods collection points throughout the county. This has proved to be a valuable benefit to our citizens by providing a no-cost option for disposal of bulky household items.”
Lamar County operates its white goods collection during the first and second Saturday of every month in Sumrall, the third Saturday of every month in Purvis, and the fourth Saturday of every month in Lumberton and Baxterville.
Hours are from 7 a.m.-noon on each of those days.
During white goods collection days, residents are allowed to dispose of items such as tires without rims, appliances, electronics, metal, batteries, furniture and mattresses, and concrete. Items not accepted include paints, solvents, hazardous waste, fiberglass insulation and commercial or contractor waste.
Times for the collections can be found at https://bit.ly/3b2KEVB.
Forrest County received $16,352 that will be used for hazardous waste collection and unauthorized dumpsite cleanup.
“We utilize that money for our community-wide pickup days like we just had at our county barns this past Saturday,” Forrest County District 5 Supervisor Chris Bowen said. “For instance, down at the Carnes community center, we had two full 40-cubic-yard containers of household non-hazardous waste and farm waste that we collected. That’s the kind of stuff that we’re able to keep from being dumped on the side of the road.”
Bowen said the grant is especially helpful to the county, as it has proven to be popular with residents over the last several years.
“They can get rid of materials that are a waste to them and they’re not able to re-utilize, and it makes room for them to beautify their own property,” he said. “They’re always excited to hear that we’re having another one. We have those every year, once a year; we try to have it at a different time than the household hazardous waste amnesty day that we share with the City (of Hattiesburg) out at Bobby Chain Airport.
“But unfortunately, due to COVID, we had to delay that springtime date, and we’ll be having that on Oct. 3. So it kind of looks like we’re having these pretty close together, except this one doesn’t take any hazardous waste – no solvents, no paints, no chemicals and no household garbage.”
Cities and counties may apply for Solid Waste Assistance Grants through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
These grants are used by local communities for programs to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps, to aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers, for public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling, and to establish programs for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes and recyclables.
Funding for waste tire grants is provided by a waste tire account funded from a fee charged on the wholesale sale of every new motor vehicle tire sold in Mississippi.
This fee provides the funds to ensure and encourage the proper management and disposal of waste tires.
“The Solid Waste Assistance Grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties,” said Chris Wells, interim executive director of the MDEQ.