The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act in November which includes grants for organics recycling and waste reduction in low-income or disadvantaged communities. The funding for both grant programs will be available to state and local governments, as well as non-profit organizations. The bill also includes funding for EPA to collect national recycling data, with an emphasis on those same communities.
The bill provides $95 million in grants for organics recycling and reuse infrastructure, “including any facility, machinery, or equipment used to collect and process organic material.” The funds can also be used for efforts to measure, reduce, and prevent food waste.
Another $95 million is made available for waste reduction activities, which includes reducing waste from manufacturing or disposal of consumer products, creating market demand or manufacturing for recovered or recyclable commodities, and landfill reduction activities. Landfill reduction activities include “i) expanding the availability of source-separated organic waste collection; ii) encouraging diversion of organic waste from landfills; or iii) increasing fees imposed on the disposal of waste, including organic waste, at landfills.”
EPA is also provided with $10 million to conduct data collection on national recycling efforts, “with a particular focus on recycling efforts in disadvantaged, low-income, and rural communities that lack access to recycling services.”
The bill now goes for consideration in the U.S. Senate where additional changes are expected. SWANA will continue to monitor the legislation and provide updates to the Core Advocacy Group as appropriate.