Grant Opportunities

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Solid Waste Infrastructure For Recycling (SWIFR) Grant Program

  • Granting Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
  • Appropriation Amount: $40,000,000
  • Grant Amount: $500,000 – $4,000,000
  • Announcement Date: November 14, 2022
  • Closing Date: January 16, 2023

See the Grants.gov post for more information, and to download the complete NOFO & application.

Purpose:

The SWIFR Grant Program seeks to address materials and waste streams that include municipal solid waste, including plastics, organics, paper, metal, glass and construction and demolition debris. The program will also award grants to projects related to source reduction, reuse, material recovery facilities, composting, industrial uses (including anaerobic digestion), and feeding animals. Additional eligibilities can be found here.

Overview:

Of the $40 million available for political subdivisions of states, EPA plans to award 25 grants, with at least one award in each of the 10 EPA Regions. Currently, EPA anticipates awarding grants in the summer or fall of 2023. Additionally, EPA will host webinars on the SWIFR Grant program application process on December 5, 7, 13 and 19. Registration is available here.

The EPA is soliciting applications for a wide variety of projects that are designed to build and transform solid waste infrastructure in the United States to equitably reduce waste and manage materials to achieve a circular economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create cleaner, resilient, and healthier communities. It is anticipated that projects will enable the EPA to help eligible partners advance from “where they are” to significantly transform their post-consumer materials management infrastructure. Projects will create new capacity for, optimize existing capacity of, or identify strategies that result in an increase in management of post-consumer materials. The EPA also recognizes and encourages applications that demonstrate innovative solutions and programs that provide or increase access to prevention, reuse, recycling, anaerobic digestion, and composting opportunities in areas that currently do not have access.

In addition, the EPA is seeking post-consumer materials management projects that address environmental justice concerns and focus predominantly on addressing the disproportionate and adverse (see below) human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts, resulting from industrial, governmental, commercial and/or other actions that have affected and/or currently affect people/communities of color, low income, tribal, and indigenous populations, and if applicable other vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Eligible Applicants
Under this announcement, applications will be accepted from political subdivisions of states and
territories. The EPA considers counties, cities, towns, parishes, and similar units of governments that
have executive and legislative functions to be political subdivisions of states.

Local governments are generally political subdivisions of states and differ from state and federal governments in that their authority is not based directly on a constitution. Each state constitution
describes in detail a procedure for establishing local governments. In most cases the state legislature
must approve the creation or incorporation of a local government. The local government then receives a charter defining its organization, authority and responsibilities, including the means for electing
governing officials. Local government units bear a variety of names, such as city, county, township,
village, parish, district, etc. The legal significance of these terms may vary from state to state. The
authority of local governments varies greatly. Generally, a local government has the authority to:
o Impose taxes
o Try people accused of breaking local laws or ordinances
o Administer local programs within its boundaries
Other entities (e.g., state or territorial institutions of higher education, special districts, housing
authorities) must provide documentation that the state or territory in which they are located considers
these entities to be a political subdivision of the state. Documentation must cite applicable state or
territorial law. Examples of acceptable forms of proof include legal opinions from the state Attorney
General or equivalent or from the Chief Legal Officer of the state college or university.
EPA has a goal of awarding up to 40% of the estimated total, or approximately $16,000,000, to projects
that benefit disadvantaged communities, depending on the quality of the applications received (refer to
Section I.F: Program Tracks for more information).