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Agriculture and Technology Professors Submit Successful Grant Proposal for Environmental Project


BENTON -- The Saline County Regional Solid Waste Management District (SCRSWMD) has presented a research grant for $13,600 to Dr. Rajesh Sharma, assistant professor of technology, and Dr. Gregory Phillips, professor of plant biotechnology, in the College of Agriculture and Technology at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

The grant was awarded to Arkansas State to develop a process that will provide the Solid Waste District with a more environmentally sound and financially advantageous method to properly dispose of yard waste. Sharma is the principal investigator (PI), and Phillips is the co-PI for the project.

On behalf of the District, those announcing the grant were Shane Broadway, director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education; Jeff Arey, mayor of Haskell, and SCRSWMD board chair; Lanny Fite, Saline County judge; and Michael Grappe, SCRSWMD executive director.

The District earlier had issued a request for proposals (RFP) from all Arkansas institutions of higher education for assistance with a project to deal with lawn clippings and leaves in a more effective way.

The proposal from A-State, the only one submitted, calls for development of a technique for combining lawn waste and a fertilized slurry adhesive material into a product that is usable as fertilizer, mulch for erosion control, and other lawn care applications.

The researchers, who will involve students in the study, will submit their findings within one year. Their research and an accompanying product manual will become property of the Solid Waste District.

Grant Presentation
Those participating in the grant presentation by the Saline County Regional Solid Waste Management District were (from left) Shane Knight, director of operations; Dr. Rajesh Sharma, assistant professor, Keith Arnoult, undergraduate student in technology, and Dr. Greg Phillips, professor, at Arkansas State; Jeff Arey, mayor of Haskell and SCRSWMD board chairman; and Shane Broadway, director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

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