Our mission is the conservation of natural resources through education and management of all aspects of solid and hazardous waste, recycling, and overuse of resources.
We are "Taking Trash Personally"...That is the slogan of Environmental Co-op. From a small beginning in 1996, the public officials and citizens of Kaufman County who have committed themselves to this project are taking the slogan seriously.
In April of 1996, Kaufman County applied for, and received, a grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) (formerly the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission) to prepare a long-term solid waste management plan. The grant request was a competitive proposal which resulted in the county being awarded $80,000, to be matched with $20,000 in county funds.
To secure public input into the process, the Kaufman County Commissioner's Court named an 18-member Citizens Task Force, comprised of representatives of the business community, solid waste collection firms, community groups, and residents from various areas of the county. This task force worked with HDR Engineering, Inc. to develop specific goals and objectives for future solid waste management in the county as they explored technical options, institutional issues and other information.
The Kaufman County Solid Waste Management Plan which resulted was designed to meet the requirements of Subchapter O of the Texas Municipal Solid Waste Management Regulations. Basic elements of the plan include a solid waste needs assessment, technical and program options and an action plan. Together these elements define a comprehensive strategy that will accomplish the following:
- Improve the local environment
- Meet short- and long-term solid waste needs
- Create an organizational structure to move the plan forward in coming years
- Inform residents and businesses of the need for proper solid waste management
Upon completion of the plan, a second proposal was submitted to NCTCOG and the county was awarded a second grant for $212,000 to implement the solid waste plan. The basis of this grant proposal was that a Solid Waste Management Cooperative, modeled after electric cooperatives, would be created to be the organizational structure for moving the plan forward. On October 1, 1997, the Commissioner's Court named an 11-member temporary board to oversee the plan implementation and on December 1, 1997, Kaufman County Solid Waste Management Cooperative was formed.
Those grant funds built a Citizens Convenience Station in the City of Kaufman, held a Household Hazardous Waste Collection, printed various pieces of literature, paid for two years of operations, travel, speaking engagements, school programs, booths at community events, etc. During the subsequent months many achievements have been recorded as a result of the Cooperative's work. Several other grants have been received totaling approximately $300,000. These funds were used to contract a Solid Waste Education Administrator, to upgrade the Terrell Citizens Convenience Station and add compactors, to purchase a tub grinder, to publish an environmental resource directory (in English and Spanish), and conduct a study of cardboard and paper usage in the county. As the Cooperative moved forward, it has became a not-for-profit corporation and is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt stand-alone organization.
In 2004, the Board of Directors relocated the offices of the Cooperative to Terrell and changed the name to Environmental Co-op. It continues to serve the citizens of Kaufman County through an "Agreement for Solid Waste Services" with the County and is funded in large part by the County, the Cities of Terrell and Crandall, and various Kaufman County ISDs. The Co-op researches technology, both new and old, seeking solutions to the growing problem of solid waste, and spends time speaking to local groups, creating projects and informing and educating the public.
From a small beginning in 1996, find out more information about our program that was started by the public officials and citizens of Kaufman County.
Find out more information about how public and private grants have formed our organization and continue to fund our current and future projects.READ MORE
Membership is open to individuals and businesses who have an interest in improving the environment in Kaufman County and supporting the Co-op.READ MORE