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Landfills: Trash R.E.A.P. if it can’t provide results

It is no great surprise the amount of garbage, trash and junk Mountain State residents send to landfills has increased during the past decade. Still, legislators should be asking questions, especially because a state agency was created to reduce the amount of waste in landfills.

As we reported, the program, expanded in 2005, is named the A. James Manchin Rehabilitation Action Plan. The name came from the former state official who ran a similar initiative during the 1970s.

In creating the new R.E.A.P., lawmakers intended for it to reduce drastically the amount of waste going to landfills. But, legislative auditors have reported, solid waste taken to landfills increased from 2010-2018.

Meanwhile, auditors have various concerns about the R.E.A.P., including how it spends taxpayers’ money. They singled out a $1 million grant to a non-profit organization that has not yet documented how the money was spent. If the name of the game is cleaning things up, something has gone awry.

That simply will not do. Taxpayers have a right to know how our hard-earned dollars are spent by government. They also have a right to expect results.

If the R.E.A.P. is not providing either results or adequate reporting, lawmakers ought to discuss whether funding it during the coming fiscal year is appropriate. If not, R.E.A.P. ought to join King Bureaucracy’s jumbled jungles of junkery in the trash bin.

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