Tripplet reappointed to waste panel

Gretchen Burns | Collegio Reporter

Jim Triplett, PSU biology professor, was reappointed by Gov. Sam Brownback to a two-year term on the Kansas Solid Waste Grants Advisory Committee.
Triplett says the need for that committee arose a

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round 1990. “Around then, a section of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act became operational and required a significant upgrade in the way states handled solid waste,” Triplett said.
He says the major change concerned how landfills were built, operated, closed and monitored.  
“There were also requirements for states to initiate, support and promote recycling efforts to reduce the waste going into landfills,” he said. “The governor’s Solid Waste Grants Advisory Committee was created in 1995 to support those recycling efforts.”
Triplett says the committee provides grants to help with the implementation of local and regional solid waste projects. He says the grants are used to fund projects involving recycling, source reduction, waste minimization and solid waste management public education programs. According to Triplett, the grants are awarded to cities, counties, private companies and private or non-profit organizations.
He says the initial goals were to create funding for recycling initiatives.
“The initial goals of the committee were to take the funding generated by a $1 per ton gate fee at all landfills,” he said. “To provide grants to groups around the state to start recycling centers, develop innovative uses for post consumer materials or provide education on composting and recycling.”
Triplett says the committee had almost $2 million a year to distribute when it started, but the amount has dwindled to less than $1 million, partly because the program has been so successful.
“Currently, most of our funds go to the Green Schools initiative, which provides grants for recycling projects at the K-12 level,” Triplett said.  “We are also awarding funds for waste tire recycling programs, such as crumb rubber for playground material or outdoor chairs and tables from waste tires.”
He says the money for the tire program comes from the fees collected for used tire disposal when people buy new tires.
Triplett says some states in the country have voluntary recycling with grants to promote committees like the governor’s Solid Waste Grants Advisory Committee, but other states, like Missouri, have mandatory objectives when approaching this issue.
Brownback appoints members to the committee from regional solid waste management organizations, representatives of counties and the state, representatives of waste tire generators or handlers, and a public member. There are seven members on the committee.
“I have been a member of the committee since its inception and am very pleased to be able to continue,” said Triplett. “This committee has accomplished a lot in its 17 years of existence, and we have reason to be proud of our service.”

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