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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $100 Million in Grants to Support Recycling Infrastructure and Education and Outreach

Grants funded in part by largest recycling investment in 30 years under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

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WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $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’ 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 S. 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.

Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption. Using recycled materials to make new products reduces the need for unused raw materials, avoiding emissions from mining, and allowing resources to be used more efficiently while reducing the impact on the climate. 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.

Communities—oftentimes those with environmental justice concerns—carry the environmental and human health burdens of waste. The grants announced today align with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to elevate environmental justice to the highest levels of the federal government and advance EPA’s commitment to delivering justice and equity for all. 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.

EPA encourages interested eligible entities to obtain SAM.gov and Grants.gov identification numbers, which can take a month. Interested applicants can learn how to prepare for a grant application by visiting this webpage.

Today’s announcement comes after EPA marked the anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the 25th Anniversary of America Recycles Day on Tuesday by celebrating progress the Agency has made on recycling one year after publishing its National Recycling Strategy. EPA also launched a Model Recycling Program Toolkit this week, which is a new searchable web application that shares EPA tools and resources on recycling, composting, reuse, and other materials management activities. With this new toolkit, the public, including potential grant applicants, can find resources such as case studies on recycling programs and webinars on driving behavior change.

Learn more about these grant opportunities and how to apply.

Stay connected to learn about upcoming webinars for these grants. 

Read more about the National Recycling Strategy and building a circular economy.  

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Author: Land and Emergency Management (OLEM)

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