Livingston County is encouraging recycling and waste reduction with grants for local municipalities looking to take part in supporting programs.

The Livingston County Solid Waste Management Plan promotes the continuation of existing programs, as well as new or improved programs, that focus on recycling and long-term waste reduction by offering Solid Waste Challenge Grants to area units of government.

$15,000 in funding was set aside in the county’s budget in 2018 and five communities applied for the grants, including Brighton, Hamburg, Hartland, Marion, and Oceola Townships. The requested amounts range between approximately $1,000 to $2,700. The townships’ request for the funds came before a county subcommittee Monday and was granted.

Officials say the waste reduction programs that would be funded through the grants include spring clean-up events and drop off recycling sites, which have been found to reduce illegal dumping and neighbor junk complaints successfully by providing residents the means to properly dispose of unwanted items.

The City of Howell and Recycle Livingston had also applied for the Challenge Grants, with plans to apply the funding to construction of a new Volunteer Center. DPW Coordinator Robert Spaulding and the Solid Waste Management Committee are still evaluating the request and deciding how to proceed, as Recycle Livingston is facing some dramatic changes due to the costs associated with foreign markets that are now closed to United States recyclers because of poor standards stateside. (DK)