Thanks to a grant from the state's Kentucky Pride Fund, both the Breathitt County and Wolfe County Fiscal Courts will share in nearly $143,000 to expand recycling, reduce the amount of solid waste going into their landfills and maintain environmental management programs in the two counties. The recycling grant going toward Breathitt and Wolfe counties was among 73 grants statewide – 59 recycling grants and 14 household hazardous waste grants – which totaled over $3.5 million.
“I'm very happy for both of our counties getting this recycling grant. I just spoke with Ashley Brown, who's the solid waste coordinator in Wolfe County, and like myself, he's very happy to be sharing this grant,” said Calvin Saum, who's the solid waste coordinator for Breathitt County. Saum told the Times-Voice on Tuesday that not only was the grant approved by both solid waste departments in the two counties, it was also supported by both fiscal courts “one hundred percent. It means continued expanded recycling services in Breathitt County and Wolfe County. We started this as a collaboration between both counties last year, and it's proving to be a wonderful friendship.”
The $142,902.37 grant for Breathitt and Wolfe counties was the fourth highest amount given by the Kentucky Pride Fund in this group of awards. Only the grants for the Boone County Fiscal Court in Northern Kentucky at over $177,000; the Jessamine County Fiscal Court in Central Kentucky at just over $163,000; and the grant for Meade, Hardin, Breckinridge and Hancock County Fiscal Courts in North Central Kentucky at almost $145,000 were higher.
Gov. Steve Beshear made the announcement from his office in Frankfort on Tuesday, saying in a news release, “Recycling and managing household hazardous waste play a large part in Kentucky's efforts to go green and conserve energy statewide.
The household hazardous waste grants allow homeowners to safely dispose of chemicals and other materials that pose a threat to human health and the environment.”
Administered by the Energy and Environment Cabinet's Division of Waste Management, the Kentucky Pride Fund is funded through the $1.75 fee for each ton of municipal solid waste that's disposed of in the state's landfills. Those grants require a 25-percent local match in the form of cash or “in-kind personnel”, as well as educational activities and advertising to promote the program from those counties or cities in Kentucky who received the awards.
Those awards showed an increase of 21 recycling grants and four household hazardous waste grants that were awarded for the previous grant cycle. The increase in communities wanting the grants was evident in a statement on Tuesday from Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary, Len Peters. “The Kentucky Pride Fund program is increasing the infrastructure that allows more Kentuckians to participate in the recycling, waste reduction, and reuse of materials we have on hand, thereby reducing our need for virgin materials and lessening our carbon footprint.”