ENTERPRISE - The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has awarded a $23,000 solid waste grant to Wallowa County so the county can expand recycling opportunities for county residents.

The grant will allow the county to set up new recycling depots and add containers in Joseph, Lostine and Wallowa to accept recyclable materials seven days a week at all hours. The county's recycling center in Enterprise already offers such services.

The project calls for the county to use the grant to purchase three 30-yard recycling containers for the cities of Joseph, Lostine and Wallowa. In addition, Wallowa County will spend an additional $15,320 to purchase two more containers county residents can use to recycle cardboard, plastics and other recyclable materials.

Last year, through a previous DEQ grant, the county purchased a baler for more efficient collection of newspapers, magazines, cardboard and plastic materials. The county has also improved drop-off facilities at the county transfer stations and opened up an area for plastics recycling at the main recycling center in Enterprise.

The DEQ is awarding nine grants totaling $370,182 this year to help communities promote solid waste prevention/reduction and conduct household hazardous waste programs.

- Phil Wright

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