The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has awarded grants to six entities in the state to fund a variety of e-waste recycling efforts including education, cleanups and other programs to keep more electronics out of landfills.

The grants, totaling $174,865, facilitate and support the proper management of electronic waste. Individual grants ranged in size from $3,465 to $75,000.

One such grant is going to the Pulaski County Regional Solid Waste Management District which will receive $25,000 to upgrade signs and brochures for the development of collection sites for electronic waste from businesses. The grant will also help the district develop a video for its website.

The following awards were made to other organizations:

• East Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District received $75,000 to construct a building to house equipment and store electronic waste collected from residents of the six counties in the district.

• The Reams Group, LLC received $35,000 for equipment to collect and dismantle e-waste.

• Fayetteville received $25,000 to offset the cost for city residents to dispose of e-waste at the Washington County E-Waste Facility.

• Benton County Planning and Environmental Office received $10,900 to collect and dispose of e-waste from Benton County residents at two cleanups.

• The White River Solid Waste Management District received $3,465 to educate residents in the 10 counties it serves on how to properly dispose of e-waste.

Many electronics contain elements – lead, mercury, and cadmium for example – that are safe when the items are used as directed, but can be hazardous if disposed of in household trash and compacted at landfills. If improperly handled, these toxins can be released into the environment, posing a threat to human health.

The grants are made annually. Last year, ADEQ awarded nine grants totaling $248,184.38. In 2010, ADEQ awarded 12 grants totaling $112,650.

The following entities in Arkansas are eligible to apply for funding under the program: private industries; schools, colleges or universities; cities or counties; regional solid waste management boards; non-profit organizations or associations; state or local government entities and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

The E-Waste Grants Program Guidelines are available on ADEQ’s website at www.adeq.state.ar.us. For more information call Robert Hunter, E-Waste Grants Program, at 682-0609.