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EPA provides grant funding to government agencies and non-profit organizations to promote waste reduction and the safe and effective solid waste management.

2011 Sustainable Materials Management Program Request for Proposals (RFP)

Summary: EPA Region 5 is soliciting proposals that will advance the sustainable management of materials in Region 5 [Region 5 comprises Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin]. Sustainable materials management (SMM) is an approach to serving human needs by using/reusing resources most productively and sustainably throughout their life cycles, generally minimizing the amount of materials involved and all the associated environmental impacts. Specific Region 5 priorities are listed in the full text under Section I., Funding Opportunity Description. This funding supports EPA's strategic goal of land preservation and restoration. Applicants are encouraged to partner and collaborate with other organizations involved in similar efforts.

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Measurement Tools for Solid Waste Projects (from EPA Region 9)

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of solid waste projects does EPA fund?

EPA solid waste grants generally fund program development or pilot projects which promote waste reduction, recycled-content products, and/or markets for recycled materials.

What can EPA solid waste funds pay for?

EPA solid waste funds may pay for a new position, contractor support, the development and printing of public outreach materials, supplies, minor equipment purchases, and project-related travel (e.g., to conduct or attend workshops). Please note that EPA solid waste funds generally cannot pay for large equipment purchases or be used for building or construction.

Who is eligible to apply for EPA solid waste grants?

In general, solid waste grant programs are open to government agencies and non-profit organizations, but it's best to check the eligibility requirements for the grant program that interests you. For-profit businesses are generally not eligible.

How and when do I apply for EPA solid waste grants?

Generally, a funding solicitation is available in November or December, which explains the grant program, money available to award, and the process to apply. Then, proposals are due in January or February to EPA. In the spring decisions are made on which projects to fund, and the grants are officially awarded in the summer. You can learn of key dates and contact information in the current solicitation.

Where can recycling-based businesses get grants, loans, or other types of financing?

A number of resources exist to assist recycling-based businesses to secure financing. Some of these include EPA-funded Recycling Investment Forums, the Small Business Innovative Research program, and the Jobs Through Recycling Program. In addition, the recycling market development programs in Region 5 states assist recycling businesses by offering low interest loans.

Where can I get information about other organizations that fund solid waste related projects?

See State programs in Region 5, and the grant opportunities available through them for recycling and waste management.

Questions on the SMM Solicitation

Can a project be funded for an applicant outside of Region 5?

Yes, the project may receive funding if the applicant is located outside of the Region, however, the work included in the proposal must be done in Region 5 states or be relevant to Region 5 stakeholders.

If the proposal does not meet one of the specific funding priorities will it be considered?

Yes, however, to score well it should address one or more of the funding priorities.

Is it acceptable to have funds in addition to those being requested from EPA to contribute to the project?

Yes, just make sure this is accounted for in the budget and explained in the proposal.

Can a partner for the proposal be a for profit organization?

Yes, as long as the applicant is a not for profit organization.

When do proposed projects need to be completed?

Generally one year, but they may be extended.

Can a proposed budget include costs that would occur before the award period would begin?

Yes, but the applicant may or may not receive funding for those costs.

Is it acceptable to propose a drywall-related project that involves land application of the recovered gypsum/drywall?

Yes. However, some drywall is made from flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, a coal combustion material. Because of the current regulatory status of coal combustion residuals*, proposed demonstration projects under the Sustainable Materials Management grant program that involve land application of drywall will have to (1) generate environmental data on the impacts of the project to the land and the water and (2) have an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for that environmental data. Applicants proposing this type of project must include the development of the QAPP in their proposed project timeline and budget. For more information on QAPPs, see http://www.epa.gov/QUALITY/qapps.html. [* In June 2010, EPA proposed to regulate disposal of coal combustion residuals (http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/industrial/special/fossil/ccr-rule/index.htm). While the proposed rule would not alter the regulatory status of coal ash that is beneficially used in agricultural applications, EPA has identified concerns with some land-based uses of unencapsulated coal ash (http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/industrial/special/fossil/ccr-rule/ccrfaq.htm#14). EPA solicited comment on whether to regulate unencapsulated uses and, if so, the most appropriate regulatory approach to be taken. EPA has not indicated when a final rule will be published.]

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Additional EPA Grant Resources

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