For Immediate Release
August 31, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


Sebelius Announces New Support for Innovative Recycling Efforts

$1.68 million in grants awarded to recycle electronics, tires

Efforts to recycle electronics and tires in 65 Kansas counties will share $1.68 million in state grants, Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has awarded 37 grants to establish electronic waste collection centers and assist cities and school districts in the purchase of playground cover and other products made from recycled waste tires. These grants will continue to stimulate the growing trend in Kansas to reuse and recycle wastes that would otherwise be destined for a landfill.

“We’ve made great progress in recycling things like paper, metals, glass and plastic, but electronics and tires aren’t seen as recyclable, even though they are. These projects will help encourage people to recycle these items and keep them out of our landfills,” said Sebelius.

The eight “E-Waste” collection center grants that range in size from $47,088 to $288,262 will be used to form regional programs to consolidate these items for later transfer to downstream private processing companies. These grants are funded from the $1 per ton solid waste landfill fee paid to the state.

Most of the waste tire recycling grants will go toward partially funding the purchase of products that provide safe and attractive surfacing at playgrounds. The 29 waste tire grants range from $805 to $78,703. The waste tire grants are funded from the 25-cent-per tire excise tax paid on the purchase of new tires.

“These grants will address a growing waste management challenge,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “Each year in Kansas, millions of computers and other electronic items become obsolete. The new collection centers will provide a convenient way for our citizens and small businesses to recycle these wastes rather than store them or dispose of them, saving valuable space in our landfills while keeping hazardous materials found in these items out of our environment.”

An advisory committee appointed by the governor reviewed all of the grant applications and made recommendation to KDHE, which administers the grant program.

KDHE Bureau of Waste Management records indicate that more than $20 million has been awarded in these competitive grant programs to cities, counties, private businesses, and non-profit organizations over the past decade to improve waste management practices in Kansas. Most of these grants have been to develop community recycling and composting programs.

This grant program complements other KDHE environmental outreach activities related to recycling, composting and the establishment of “Green Teams” in public and private organizations. Green Teams consist of employees or students within an organization who look for ways to reduce waste and energy consumption and to adopt environmentally sound purchasing practices.

More information about the grants awarded in this round may be found at www.kdheks.gov/waste/about_grants.html.

Note to reporters: The E-waste grants award list and waste tire management grants award list for SFY 2008 are attached.

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