District gets grants for recycling projects


New grant funding the county received will be used to recycle things like old cellphones, paint and Freon.

Dubois County Solid Waste Management District Director Carla Striegel–Winner is looking to have the programs in place by the end of the year.

“We’re hoping in 2020, if things get back to normal again,” she told the county council last month.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has started issuing grants again to solid waste districts, something the agency hasn’t done in more than 10 years. The county solid waste district has been awarded two: a recycling market development grant and a community recycling grant.

The district will receive about $16,000 in reimbursement funds through grants for several recycling projects the district will implement.

“We are excited that IDEM is releasing this money,” Striegel–Winner said.

The community recycling grant will be used to collect small electronic devices and to recycle latex paint.

Secured bins will be purchased to hold small electronic devices, like tablets and cellphones, and placed at the county’s five libraries. People will be able to take their old devices to a library during library hours and put them in the locked bins.

“It’s a need in the county,” Striegel–Winner told the district board. “We think this is a great way for the community to get rid of them.”

Because the county recycling sites are already collecting so many different things, she didn’t want to add another item to the list. And she doesn’t think everyone will bring the devices to the process center. So she talked to the library directors and they agreed to be a collection site for the devices.

The process center already collects latex paint, but it pays a company to dispose of it. Using the grant funding means that the paint will be able to be recycled. “It is going to probably cost us less to get it recycled, once we set it up,” Striegel–Winner said.

The recycling market development grant will be used to implement programs to collect and recycle Freon, and to place items that others could possibly use, like furniture, in a space so that is accessible to the public.

The district plans to purchase equipment to remove refrigerant and will have an HVAC company come in and do the removal. After a year, Striegel-Winner will see if a staff member can be trained on how to remove the refrigerant.

A container will store items people bring that aren’t recycled but could possibly be used by someone else. If people see something they want, they will be able to take it, Striegel–Winner explained. The items that aren’t taken will be disposed of.

The grant funding comes from solid waste management fees that are collected from incinerators and landfills in Indiana, such as Blackfoot and Velpen. The fee is 50 cents per ton of everything that goes to the final disposal facility.

More on DuboisCountyHerald.com