Program to help rural communities reduce water use, waste
The Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute is helping businesses and communities in southeast Kansas reduce water use and waste generation through a program called the Greening Southeast Kansas Initiative. The program runs from Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2011.
PPI has been awarded a grant from the USDA to aid eight counties in southeast Kansas. Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Crawford, Greenwood, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties are areas of interest based on city population (less than 10,000) and median household income.
Ryan Hamel, pollution prevention specialist at PPI, advocates the program for southeast Kansas communities. Hamel stresses the importance of providing assistance to rural areas.
"If we can reduce waste from being generated and find alternative uses for waste which can't be reduced, we can extend the life of our landfills," Hamel says.
In southeast Kansas, as landfills reach end of life, waste must be transferred over further distances, increasing environmental impacts and cost of disposal.
"The goal of the program is to provide environmental assistance to rural, lower-income areas that may not otherwise receive support," he says.
Hamel is currently seeking businesses and communities to partner with in an effort to reduce waste and water use at the source, while harnessing a level of community bonding.
The Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute provides free, confidential and technical environmental assistance. The mission of the program is to promote sustainability through environmental education and services to industry and institutions. These services include environmental compliance and pollution prevention technical assistance.