The Arkansas State Legislature in 1971 recognized the need for and created the Solid Waste Management Act (Act 237, codified as A.C.A. §8060291 et seq.) with the stated purpose to protect the public health and welfare, prevent the spread of disease and creation of nuisances, conserve natural resources, and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.  In addition, three laws of the 1991 legislative session changed the direction of solid waste management within the State of Arkansas.  These are Act 746 which established recycling goals for the state, Act 751 which banned the disposal of yard waste in landfills, and Act 752 which mandated regional management for solid waste.

A major requirement of these mandates is that all local governments plan for the development of solid waste management systems.  The guidelines using a narrative type explanation of the collection and disposal of solid waste within the districts.

In 2001, Act 1376 of 2001 codified as A.C.A. §8-6-1901 et seq., specifically charged the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality with developing a comprehensive statewide solid waste management plan and minimum requirements for the development of NEW solid waste management plans from each of the Regional Solid Waste Management Boards.

Description of CARSWMD:

The counties that make up the Central Waste Management District are Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties. They are best described as rural, agricultural based communities. It is felt, has been analyzed and put into place the best possible system for each area.  It is very difficult for the small rural communities to provide adequate service for their residents.  Fortunately, informal intergovernmental agreements between these communities and the counties result in the best program that is possible.

State law has played a major role in helping the District take an integrated approach to solid waste management.  Though the establishment of county recycling programs and waste tire disposal facilities, state law has mandated that the Districts take an active role in the establishment and coordination of MSW management within their respective borders