- The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management recently announced funding for 45 recycling grants, 27 household hazardous waste grants, and one compost pilot project grant.
- This comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which gets $1.75 for each ton of waste disposed of in state landfills. Total funding this year is more than $4.5 million.
- Grants required a 25% local match or "in-kind" donation. The majority of recipients were local or regional government bodies.
Kentucky's waste management system has been undergoing a number of changes, and the hope is that these grants will help further encourage landfill diversion and hazardous waste recycling. In addition to paying for grants, the Kentucky Pride Fund also covers debt service, remediation of illegal dumps and closure of historical landfills. The most recent report from the state's Division of Waste Management said there are 531 historical landfills left to be closed.
The state has been making progress with its diversion goals — the most recent data showed an increased 37.6% recycling rate in 2014 — but it also has to contend with large volumes of out-of-state waste. Last year the amount of non-Kentucky municipal solid waste disposed in its landfills increased by 48%. This played out very publicly in April when the Big Run landfill was ordered to stop accepting out-of-state waste that was coming from as far away as New York.
On a local level, Louisville — the state's largest city — has also been focusing on waste diversion strategies. The city hopes to reach a 90% diversion rate by 2042 and recently invested $350,000 to create a 10-year solid waste management plan. A waste characterization study is currently underway and results are expected to be released this summer.