EPA Recycling Grant Opportunities Announced

November 16, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released new recycling grant opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Through the Recycling Education and Outreach grant program, towns and cities can apply for grants between $250,000 and $2 million to improve consumer education and outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting. Through the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant program, towns and cities can apply for grants between $500,000 and $4 million to improve materials management and infrastructure for recycling and composting. Applications for both programs are due January 16, 2023. The estimated start date for projects awarded grants is October 2023, and all project activities must be completed within three years. Learn more about these grant opportunities and how NRRA member communities can apply. 

Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program

Who Can Apply: Towns and cities (local governments), states, tribes, nonprofit organizations, and public-private partnerships.

Scope of Grant: 
To fund projects to improve consumer education and outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting by providing them with the practical tools needed 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.

Funding Available: The total funding is approximately $30 million. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 assistance agreements, with at least one award per EPA Region. (EPA Region 1 serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and 10 Tribal Nations.) 40% of funding will go to disadvantaged communities. In addition, 20% of funding will be awarded to low income, rural, and Native American communities. 

Grant Amounts: Individual grant requests must be between $250,000 and $2,000,000. Applicants need not provide matching funds. 

Project Period: The estimated start date for projects awarded grants is October 2023. All project activities must be completed within three years. 

Objectives: All projects must encourage the collection of recyclable materials and must achieve one or more of the following objectives:

  • Inform the public about residential or community recycling programs.
  • Provide information about the recycled materials that are accepted as part of a residential or community recycling program that provides for the separate collection of residential solid waste from recycled material.
  • Increase collection rates and decrease contamination in residential and community recycling programs.

Possible Projects: Examples of projects may include: 

  • Public service announcements.
  • Door-to-door education and outreach campaigns.
  • Social media and digital outreach.
  • An advertising campaign on recycling awareness.
  • The development and dissemination of:

        (i)  a toolkit for a municipal and commercial recycling program.

        (ii) information on the importance of quality in the recycling stream.

        (iii) information on the benefits of recycling.

        (iv) information on what happens to materials after the materials are placed in the bin.

  • Businesses recycling outreach.
  • Bin, cart, and other receptacle labeling and signs.
  • Community ambassador education programs or training the trainer programs.
  • Other education and outreach activities to improve waste prevention, reuse, and recycling, and reduce contamination, such as evaluations and evidence-based messaging and strategies associated with preventing or reducing waste and improving reuse, repair, refurbish, and remanufacture of materials.

Application Deadline: January 16, 2023

Learn More

Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program - for Political Subdivisions

Who Can Apply: Towns and cities (and other political subdivisions of states and territories). There are separate grant programs for states and territories and for tribes and intertribal consortia. 

Scope of Grant: To fund projects that improve 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.

Funding Available: The total funding is approximately $40 million. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 assistance agreements under this funding opportunity, with at least one award per each EPA Region. (EPA Region 1 serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,  New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and 10 Tribal Nations.) 40% of funding will go to disadvantaged communities. 

Grant Amounts: Individual grant requests must be between $500,000 and $4,000,000. Applicants need not provide matching funds. 

Project Period: The estimated start date for projects awarded grants is October 2023. All project activities must be completed within three years. The EPA may consider "shovel-ready" projects that can be completed in six to 12 months when making final selections. 

Objectives: All applications must achieve one or more of the following objectives:

  • Establish, increase, expand, or optimize collection and improve materials management infrastructure.
  • Fund the creation and construction of tangible infrastructure, technology, or other improvements to reduce contamination in the recycled materials stream.
  • Establish, increase, expand, or optimize capacity for materials management.
  • Establish, improve, expand, or optimize end-markets for the use of recycled commodities.
  • Demonstrate a significant and measurable increase in the diversion, recycling rate, and quality of materials collected for municipal solid waste.

Possible Projects: Applications may include (but are not limited to) projects that fund:

  • Innovative solutions and/or programs that provide or increase access to prevention, reuse, and recycling in areas that currently do not have access; including development of and/or upgrades to drop-off and transfer stations (including but not limited to a hub-and-spoke model in rural communities), etc.
  • The purchase of recycling equipment, including but not limited to sorting equipment, waste metering, trucks, processing facilities, etc.
  • Upgrades to material recovery facilities (MRFs) such as optical sorters, artificial intelligence, etc.
  • Development of and/or upgrades to composting facilities or anaerobic digesters to increase capacity for organics recycling.
  • Development of and/or upgrades to curbside collection programs or drop-off stations for organics.
  • Development of and/or upgrades to reuse infrastructure such as online reuse platforms, community repair spaces, technology and equipment to improve materials management reuse options, food donation, and upcycling, staging areas for material reuse/donation, reuse warehouses, and reuse centers, and electronic waste and computer recycling and refurbishing.

Buy America Sourcing: All iron and steel, manufactured products, and construction materials that are used in an infrastructure project must be produced in the United States. 

Application Deadline: January 16, 2023

Learn More

Register for upcoming EPA webinars to learn more about these grant opportunities!