County gets grant for hazardous waste collection

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

Recently the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality awarded a $23,434 solid waste assistance grant to Pearl River County.

According to an MDEQ release, the funds are to be used by the county to host household hazardous waste collection event. However, a date has not yet been set for an event in Pearl River County.

The MDEQ’s website lists antifreeze, gasoline, paints, pesticides, oven cleaners, drain openers, electronics, fluorescent light bulbs, yard treatments, lead acid batteries and paint removers/thinners as examples of hazardous waste materials.

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These materials can be flammable, toxic, corrosive and capable of exploding if exposed to heat, air, water or shock, the website states.

MDEQ Solid Waste and Recycling Program Administrator Mark Williams said even though most landfills have been designed to accommodate hazardous wastes, these events provide a safer alternative to managing them and diverting them away from the landfill.

“All liquid run off is collected in the landfill’s drainage system above the liner,” Williams said. “When it’s pumped out and disposed, there will still be hazardous characteristics if these wastes are dumped in a landfill. That’s just one of the damages. These events help to minimize the amount of toxins contaminating the waste water or potential releases from the landfill.”

Corrosive items can also damage a liner he said.

According to MDEQ, household cleaners should be used completely in order to reduce the amount disposed.

Williams said hazardous materials need to be safely stored and kept away from children and pets. They can also be stored in this same manner until an event is held in the area.

There are also numerous natural and non-toxic products which can be used for cleaning, which includes baking soda and vinegar, the website states. For a complete listing of these products, contact MDEQ’s recycling and solid waste reduction program at 601-916-5171.

“The solid waste assistance grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties, and this grant will assist Pearl River County’s efforts in improving their management of solid waste,” MDEQ Executive Director Gary Rikard said in the release.

According to the release, solid waste assistance grants are also used by local communities to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps, aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers, public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling. Grant funds may also be used to establish programs for the collection of white goods like washing machines, bulky wastes and recyclables.

Pearl River County Fire Marshall Albert Lee said a date for another county household hazardous waste collection event will be determined after he speaks with Pearl River County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin. However, tentatively, he is planning to host an event around the end of November.

For more information about MDEQ and their programs, visit