The EPA has announced $375 million in funding through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for new recycling, reuse and waste prevention programs. The Agency published three Requests for Information seeking input on the design of these new materials management initiatives, the first step in the process to implement the largest EPA investment in recycling in 30 years.
“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. “This unprecedented investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will transform recycling and solid waste management across the nation, create good-paying jobs and advance our bold environmental agenda as we work to build a better America.”
The $375 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will develop several new initiatives, including a Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant program, a Recycling Education and Outreach grant program, a Model Recycling Program toolkit, as well as provide funding to compile best practices for battery collection, recycling, and labeling guidelines.
For example, through the education and outreach grants, EPA can fund projects such as public service announcements, advertising campaigns, and the development and dissemination of recycling program toolkits. These activities will enable the Agency to improve consumer education and outreach on how to recycle right, reduce contamination in the recycling stream, produce higher quality recycled materials, and advance a circular economy. A circular economy reduces material use, redesigns materials to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.
These Requests for Information are the first steps in the process of developing these new grant programs and guidance. Through the Requests for Information, EPA is asking all interested individuals and organizations to share their perspectives on resources, opportunities, and barriers related to reducing, reusing, and recycling infrastructure, education and outreach programs and battery recycling and collection.
To access the Requests for Information and learn how to comment, please visit the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Transforming U.S. Recycling and Waste Management webpage. Additionally, EPA is initiating a national effort to engage stakeholders across the country to inform the development of these new programs, hosting virtual meetings and feedback sessions in all 10 regions and nationally. EPA is targeting community groups and environmental justice organizations around the country as part of this outreach plan.