By Woodrow Polston
The city of Vandalia recently added new playground equipment to Daniels Park located on West Hwy. 54. The funding of the new equipment was made possible by a Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which was applied for through the Pike County Economic Development office.
“Pike County Economic Development office applied for a solid waste grant thru Missouri Solid Waste District H,” said City Clerk Brandie Gay. “The city was awarded $10,000 in solid waste funding for the purchase of new playground equipment for the park. All of the equipment was made from recycled materials. Incorporating recycled equipment into the park is a great way to educate the public on the end results of recycling,” she added.
The city also purchased bags and stickers, which they are offering at no charge for citizens that are interested in participating in the city’s recycling efforts. City Administrator Darren Berry described the installation of the new playground equipment and the various features that it offers.
“We installed the new equipment over the winter,” said Berry. “It includes a play set and a little bridge that the kids can walk on. I believe that we did this with a matching grant, as I know that playground equipment is quite expensive. All of the material used to manufacture the equipment is from recycled materials,” he added.
Missouri is divided into 20 solid waste management districts. The districts were created to foster regional cooperation between cities and counties in managing solid waste. The districts help plan and implement recycling services and other alternatives to waste disposal at the local level. They also administer waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting grants to support these efforts.
Funding for the districts is provided from the tonnage fees paid at Missouri landfills and transfer stations that transfer waste out of state. These funds are received by the department’s Waste Management Program. The department allocates the funds to the districts based on a statutory formula. The districts submit grants to the department for approval and the funds are then paid to the districts based on the grant amounts. The districts then award the grants to various entities including local governments, small and large businesses, schools, sheltered workshops, not-for-profit organizations and individuals to support activities to recycle, compost, reuse, reduce waste and to educate the general public on these topics.