For Immediate Release
March 14, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Provides $100,000 Grant, Recognition Award to Kiowa County for Recycling

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Waste Management (BWM) has announced that Kiowa County will receive a $100,000 grant to replace a building and some equipment used for processing recyclable materials. The county’s recycling facility was destroyed by the May 4, 2007, Greensburg tornado.

“The re-establishment of the county recycling center is an integral part of local efforts to rebuild our community with a ‘green’ emphasis,” said Kiowa County Commissioner Gene West.

Kiowa County will also receive a recognition award from KDHE for efforts to recycle much of the debris left behind by the tornado. Nearly 600 tons of scrap metal, dozens of pallets of bricks, and 65,000 cubic yards of concrete were recovered and recycled from the rubble. In addition, cars, electrical transformers, propane cylinders, Freon refrigerant and some miscellaneous hazardous materials were recycled rather than disposed.

“We salute the people of Kiowa County for their leadership, determination and dedication to preserving natural resources and protecting the environment, even in the face of tragedy and overwhelming adversity,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE.

“Despite extraordinary circumstances, the people of Kiowa County demonstrated an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship by building partnerships to ensure the tornado debris was recycled,” said Bill Bider, Director of the KDHE Bureau of Waste Management.

The award will be presented to Kiowa County at the Kansas 2008 WORKS! Solid Waste Management Conference, which will be held at the Overland Park Marriott, March 25-28. More than 300 representatives of public and private waste management programs from Kansas and other states are expected to attend.