By Shane Nicholson
Sprucing up Ogle County is top priority as the Solid Waste Management Department (OCSWMD) is again inviting applications for Clean-up Day grants.
Clean-up Days allow towns and citizens’ groups to dispose of scrap metal, tires, appliances and other types of waste that would not typically be picked up during regular refuse collection.
“This program is for groups and units of government who want to clean up the environment and beautify their town,” said Steve Rypkema, Director, OCSWMD.
Grants of up to $2,000 are available to government bodies or citizens’ groups who present matching funds. Applicants are encouraged to use paid labor or volunteer hours in order to fulfill their matching fund obligations.
Last year, $3,400.35 was disbursed in the form of grants to five government bodies in Ogle County for clean-up efforts. This year, $6,000 is available to organizations that wish to apply, including non-government bodies who wish to clean up sections of waterways in Ogle County.
“In the past we’ve always worked with units of government,” said Rypkema, “but we would certainly consider a citizens’ group if they could come up with the matching funds.”
Monroe Township has been the most active participant in the Clean-up Days grant program, receiving funds every year since the program began. This is the first year that non-government bodies will be considered for the program.
Participating groups are encouraged to emphasize recycling efforts for materials collected. OCSWMD offers assistance in estimating costs of dumpsters, landfill disposal and man hours required to complete the project.
“This is something [OCSWMD] can do to help out other units of government and to beautify Ogle County,” said Rypkema. “We hope we can use all of the funds set aside for this year to those ends.”
Applicants are encouraged to submit bids early as funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
For information or to receive an application call 815-732-4020 or visit oglecounty.org.