US making $100 million available for recycling
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced US$100 million in grants for recycling infrastructure and recycling education and outreach projects across the country.
EPA has published two Requests for Applications (RFAs) for new recycling infrastructure grants and education and outreach grants totaling $70 million. EPA also announced a new grant program for states and territories totaling $30 million.
The new grant programs support improvements to local waste management systems and recycling education and outreach, meeting Congress’s goal to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system.
“Too many communities are burdened by pollution and the negative environmental and health impacts that result from poorly managed waste,” said EPA administrator Michael Regan.
“Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’ve seen a historic level of resources flow to EPA to address these challenges. The funding announced today will work hand in hand with our broader efforts to transform recycling and solid waste management across the nation and deliver economic and environmental benefits to those who need the most.”
These grants are funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invested $375 million in funding for new recycling, reuse and waste prevention programs, the largest investment in recycling infrastructure to EPA in 30 years.
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) Grant Program for which EPA is now seeking applications includes:
- $30 million in funding that is available for states, territories, and the District of Columbia to improve solid waste management planning, data collection, and program implementation; and
- $40 million in funding that is available for counties, cities, towns, parishes, and similar units of government to fund projects that improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure, including collection, transport, systems, and processes related to post-use materials that can be recovered, reused, recycled, repaired, refurbished, or composted.
The Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program
The Recycling Education and Outreach (REO) Grant Program for which EPA is now seeking applications includes:
- $30 million in funding for projects to improve consumer education and outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting. These education and outreach grants to states, Tribes, territories, local governments, and other organizations aim to reduce waste generation, decrease contamination in the recycling stream, and increase recycling rates across the country in a manner that is equitable for all.
The Agency continues to accelerate progress through the development of these infrastructure and education grants, best practices and guidelines for batteries, a model recycling program toolkit, and strategies to reduce waste from food, plastics, and electronics.
As part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, at least 40 percent of the funding allocated in EPA’s SWIFR and REO grants will benefit underserved and overburdened communities.