THAYER -- Oregon County Economic Development Director Edd Hatten has been working with officials with the city of Thayer on a grant to purchase a leaf vacuum.
Hatten said the grant is for $20,000 and is through the South Central Solid Waste Management District.
Hatten said the city needs the vacuum for a couple of reasons. "The city of Thayer accumulates 50 to 60 tons of yard waste, including leaves, a year. There are approximately 1,180 residents in the city. This amounts to 100 pounds of leaves per resident or 59 tons a year. The city and school adds another 10 or more tons, amounting to the 60 tons," he said.
"When this volume of leaves is burned it amounts to a great deal of smoke and is not safe for city residents," Hatten said.
He said he should hear from the district by the end of December.
Hatten said if the vacuum becomes a reality the compost from the yard waste will be turned into a mulch pile, probably located near the city road shed and will be given away free to the residents of the county.