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Crunching Numbers for New Programs and Tools? Don’t Take it for Grant(ed)

As communities everywhere buckle down and commit to better environmental stewardship, new regulations are creating a need for new and improved waste and recycling programs and more effective communication efforts surrounding those programs.

In many cases, states are providing funding opportunities for municipalities and haulers that are working to meet new guidelines. Take the California Senate Bill 1383, for example. Once SB 1383 took effect this year, all jurisdictions were then required to provide organic waste collection to all people and businesses while conducting education and outreach on organics recycling.

To help municipalities and communities meet those requirements throughout the state, its Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) began administering a one-time grant program to help fund everything from collection and education efforts to record keeping.

Similar assistance is also carried out in Massachusetts. Most recently, its waste reduction efforts have led to new Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Waste Disposal Bans, which take effect Nov. 1, 2022. This round of regulations bans the disposal — and transport for disposal — of textiles and mattresses in Massachusetts, while limiting the disposal and lowering the threshold of organic waste — including food — from businesses and other commercial institutions that dispose of more than one ton of these materials per week.

Since the state’s first waste bans were introduced, MassDEP grants and technical assistance have aided Massachusetts municipalities and businesses with developing new infrastructure to meet the changing regulations.

In other states like Illinois, funds are also available to help municipalities and counties manage their solid waste in general. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s County Solid Waste Planning Grants aids counties throughout the state in their efforts to draft and adopt plans to manage their solid waste and more.

Whether your state has similar regulations coming up down the pipeline, or you simply want to get ahead of the curve, making the most of your resources, grant money included, can help. In fact, having the capacity to leverage multiple sources of funding not only ensures your ability to carry out your work now, but it will help you plan for future success, too.

Access Granted: Find Funds that Could Help You

As you research grant money and other assistance that could help fund your solid waste and recycling work, be sure to look into the funds that could be available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

To aid communities big and small with their environmental efforts, the EPA provides grants to municipalities and organizations for their work, most recently with the help of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed into law last fall.

Here are just a couple of grant programs the EPA has created with help from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill:

  • The Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program: This program helps municipalities, organizations and other recipients inform the people they serve about residential or community waste prevention or recycling programs; provide information about the recycled materials that are accepted; and increase collection rates and decrease contamination across the nation, according to the EPA.
  • The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program: This program was designed to help recipients implement strategies to improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure; support improvements to local post-consumer materials management and recycling programs, and assist local waste management authorities as they improve local waste management systems, according to the EPA.

The EPA has already awarded millions of dollars of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law dollars to help with a variety of efforts across the country, from revitalizing communities in Washington and Oregon to Nevada. The agency is also seeking input to inform its education and outreach grant program and others through July 25, 2022.

“Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” says EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, in a news release, “we are significantly ramping up our investments in communities, with the bulk of our funding going to places that have been overburdened and underserved for far too long.”

A host of other agencies in North America are also awarding grants to help carry out this work. Check out this list. If you’re in the UK, here is a list of resources for you, too.

Teamwork makes the Dream Work

Overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? With decades of experience in the solid waste and recycling industry, we can help you take advantage of the opportunities that grants provide, and help you navigate compliance and ensure you’re meeting regulatory requirements, too.

Once you have a plan and funding in place, we can help you spread the word and carry out your programming, too, through our easy-to-use digital waste and recycling communication tools, including:

  • The Collection Calendar, which helps your community keep track of their collection schedule while also allowing you to communicate with folks about special pickups, collection drives, updates and more.
  • The Waste Wizard, which helps the people you serve determine the best and correct way to dispose of their solid waste while minimizing contamination and reducing call volumes.
  • The Waste Sorting Game, which provides you with a fun and interactive way to educate your community about recycling and waste disposal in your area.
  • The Mobile App, which connects all the dots and helps you to communicate information directly to your residents’ phones and computers.

Let’s Talk

Applying for and managing grants while improving and carrying out your solid waste and recycling programs can be tricky — but you have help. Let’s Talk and discuss your solid waste and recycling goals now.