On November 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrated America Recycles Day by opening up the grant applications process for its Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling and its Recycling and Education Outreach grant programs. Organics recycling programs are included in these funding opportunities. The agency also released its Model Recycling Program Toolkit, an interactive collection of EPA and other materials designed to help states, territories, local governments, tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, companies, and public-private partnerships create effective programs for recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, repair and waste reduction, as well as help communities increase participation in recycling programs and reduce contamination in the recycling stream.
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Program provides grants to implement strategies to improve postconsumer materials management and infrastructure; support improvements to local postconsumer materials management and recycling programs; and assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to local waste management systems. A total of $275 million is allocated as $55 million/year from Fiscal Years (FY) 2022 to 2026 and will remain available until expended. EPA was provided an additional $2.5 million in FY 2022 funding to implement the program.
Three types of grant funding opportunities are available in the solid waste infrastructure program. The first is designated to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to improve solid waste management planning, data collection, and program implementation (notices of intent to participate accepted until Dec. 15, 2022). The second type is designated to political subdivisions — counties, cities, towns, parishes, and similar units of government for projects that improve postconsumer materials management and infrastructure (applications are being accepted until Jan. 16, 2023). The third type of grant funding — be announced later this year — is for federally recognized Tribes, including Alaskan Native Villages, and intertribal consortia.
The Recycling and Education Outreach grant program’s total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $30 million. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 assistance agreements under this funding opportunity, with at least one award per EPA Region (10 regions in total). The minimum individual award floor is $250,000, and the maximum individual award ceiling is $2 million for the grant period. Deadline for applications is Jan. 16, 2023.
EPA is hosting webinars for each grant program; dates and times are included in the grant program links above.