Welcome to the Warren County Division for Environmental Planning and Assistance (DEPA).
The Division for Environmental Planning & Assistance manages the Warren County Area Solid Waste Management Plan. The plan, in its 26th year, is a state-mandated document approved by Warren County Fiscal Court and all municipalities in the county. The WCASWMP continues to serve as the guide for all Warren County solid waste management activities monitored by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The plan is updated every five years in coordination with the county’s Clean Communities Committee.
The plan is divided into seven categories, prescribed by the state: Collection, Disposal, Recycling, Open Dumps, Litter, Siting, Enforcement, Public Participation and Financial. Principal to the plan is the issuance and management of Solid Waste and Recycling Franchises, which are issued exclusively by the county. Though these franchises, Warren County gives oversight to a number of solid waste haulers and the county’s curbside recycling program.
The success of these programs is important to the Kentucky’s continuing mandate that a minimum of 25 percent of all waste be diverted from landfills. That mandate in 1990 resulted in the first-ever curbside recycling program in Warren County. The program was established in Bowling Green in 1995 and so successful – with 75 of eligible households participating – that it expanded in the year 2000 with a new franchise agreement covering the most-populated areas of the county. The number of unmanned drop-off recycling bins was increased from five to 12 locations servicing rural areas where curbside pickup was impractical at the time.
Currently, about 94 percent of households are subscribed to a solid waste hauler. However, every household and business is required to be subscribed to trash pickup through an approved hauler. DEPA may issue warnings and enforcement actions to get property owners and residents to comply with the county-wide requirement.
DEPA works with local codes enforcement boards and area prosecutors to prevent and cure illegal dumping and littering in the county. In addition, DEPA helps business and individuals who have had other dump on their properties or use their waste receptacles illegally. The county has cleaned hundreds of illegal open dumpsites over the past 20 years, accelerating its efforts since 2003 using state grant funds. Warren County is one of five counties holding the unique Kentucky Certified Clean County designation.
DEPA also established Warren County’s Litter Education-Abatement Program. LEAP activities include having two road crews of low-risk jail inmates being supervised by two deputies in the collection of litter along public roads. Also, LEAP allows for a limited number of special events and group activities to help educate people about litter and how to prevent and assist in local pick it up programs. LEAP uses a Litter Abatement Grant from the Kentucky Pride Fund and the state Department of Transportation to carry out these programs.