Story courtesy of USDA Rural Development (slightly edited by RCAP), April 2011
Outline of need
The Wind River Environmental Quality Commission (WREQC) is charged by the Joint Business Council of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe to regulate environmental matters on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR). This includes management of solid waste, which has been a serious environmental and health issue on the Wind River Indian Reservation historically.
How RCAP helped
Section 306C Native American Grant funds will be used to modernize the existing solid-waste transfer station at Fort Washakie, Wyo., allowing for fee collection, source separation and recycling capacity at the transfer site prior to transportation to the landfill. USDA Rural Development’s Community Programs Section has been working with the WREQC for the past year to develop a transfer station capable of processing solid waste efficiently and with equipment that meets the needs of the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District, which currently transports waste from the transfer station to the district landfill under an agreement with the Joint Business Council. The grant is very timely as the WREQC is in the process of developing plans to pickup and transport solid waste to a regional landfill yet to be determined. The subject grant is a continuation of a 2007 Solid Waste Management Grant for transfer-station equipment. Technical assistance on the application was provided by the Midwest Assistance Program, the Midwest RCAP.
Since news of the grant award and being selected as Rural Development Community Programs Earth Day project, the WREQC staff has been busy working to ensure that the transfer station will be even more successful than originally planned. The modernization of the Fort Washakie transfer station will provide the people of the WRIR the first step in managing how solid waste is regulated and processed. The transfer station project provides initial funding for two employees and a facility to collect fees for WREQC program revenues. This will be a major milestone for the WREQC program.