Lamar Co receives $50K grant for white goods disposal

By HASKEL BURNS,

For the past several years, Lamar County officials have offered Saturday drop-off sites for white goods – household appliances – at different locations around the county.

Those efforts will be helped along with a recent $50,000 solid waste assistance grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality that will go toward bulky waste collection.

“Of course, we have staff that has to be paid, and that helps with that,” Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits said. “But primarily, that money goes toward tipping fees for that waste, because once we collect it from the citizens, then we take it to the transfer station to dispose of it and we pay those fees.

“So it doesn’t cover all the tipping fees, and it doesn’t cover all the labor, but it goes a long way toward supporting those efforts.”

The county offers five disposal times and sites each month:

• First Saturday: Department gravel pit, 3799 Rocky Branch Rd. in Sumrall

• Second Saturday: 7587 U.S. 98 in Sumrall

• Third Saturday: Central Maintenance Facility, 640 Mississippi 589 in Purvis

• Fourth Saturday: Front Street, across from the National Guard building in Lumberton

• Fourth Saturday: Community Center, 5535 Mississippi 13 in Baxterville from 1-4 p.m.

From 7 a.m.-noon on those dates (excepting the Baxterville location), Lamar County residents are able to drop off any unwanted white goods to be disposed of. That includes appliances – such as refrigerators, washing machines or freezers – scrap metal, furniture and mattresses, up to five waste tires with no rims attached, and concrete.

Items such as tires still on rims, hazardous waste and household trash normally placed curbside are not allowed.

“(The MDEQ grant) is major,” Waits said. “It covers a good portion of it, and without it, it’d be difficult to do the Saturday drop-offs. So we’re very thankful to get it, because it pretty much allows us to do that.”

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.

“The Solid Waste Assistance Grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties, and this grant will assist Lamar County’s efforts in improving their management of solid waste,” MEDQ Executive Director Gary Rikard said.

In addition, MDEQ has awarded the Pine Belt Regional Authority a $202,820 two-year waste tire grant to continue the local waste tire collection program for small quantity generators of waste tires.

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.