June 25, 2024 | Business+Finance, Community Composting, Composting, Food Waste, Soil Health

USDA Composting And Food Waste Reduction Grants Available

Top: The Ridgefield, Connecticut small-scale food scraps composting facility was financed via a USDA Composting and Food Waste Reduction Grant. Photo courtesy Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2024. The cooperative agreements are jointly administered by USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). These cooperative agreements support projects led by local and tribal governments, schools or other eligible entities that generate compost; increase access to compost for agricultural producers; reduce reliance on and limit the use of fertilizer; improve soil quality; encourage waste management and permaculture business development; increase rainwater absorption; reduce municipal food waste; and divert food waste from landfills. OUAIP will prioritize projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits; incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners; integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts; and collaborate with multiple partners. OUAIP — led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) — is accepting applications on until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 4, 2024. Projects must be two years in duration with an estimated start date of June 1, 2025. In 2023, USDA awarded $11.5 million in 38 cooperative agreements.

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