The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made $100 million available in grants for recycling infrastructure and recycling outreach and education projects across the county.
The agency has published two requests for applications for new recycling infrastructure and education grants totaling $70 million. EPA announced a new $30 million grant program for states and territories, as well.
According to a release, the new grant programs are intended to support improvements to local waste management systems, meeting Congress’ goal to create a “stronger, more resilient and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system.”
“Too many communities are burdened by pollution and the negative environmental and health impacts that result from poorly managed waste,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan says. “…The funding announced today will work for hand in hand with our broader efforts to transform recycling and solid waste management across the nation and deliver economic and environmental benefits to those who need the most.”
The grants are funded by the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invested $375 million in funding for new recycling, reuse and waste prevention programs.
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program for which EPA is now seeking applications includes:
$30 million in funding that is available for states, territories, and the District of Columbia to improve solid waste management planning, data collection, and program implementation; and
$40 million in funding is available for counties, cities, towns, parishes, and similar units of government to fund projects that improve post-consumer 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.
The Recycling Education and Outreach Grant Program for which EPA is now seeking applications include:
$30 million in funding for projects to improve consumer education and outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting. These education and outreach grants to states, Tribes, territories, local governments, and other organizations aim to reduce waste generation, decrease contamination in the recycling stream and increase recycling rates across the country.
Battery recycling and reuse
In addition to the residential recycling and outreach grants, the Biden administration also announced nearly $74 million in funding to advance technologies and processes for electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling and reuse. This funding also comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
According to a release announcing the initiative, more than 1.2 million EVs have been sold in the U.S, which is more than triple the number of EVs on the road roughly three years ago.
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With demands for critical battery minerals, such as lithium and graphite, expected to increase by as much as 4,000 percent in the coming decades, the Biden administration says the latest round of funding will help accelerate battery production in America, mitigate battery supply chain disruptions and promote job creation.
This announcement builds on a prior $2.8 million funding allocated for domestic battery processing and component manufacturing.
“Recycling advanced batteries presents an enormous opportunity for America to support the creation of a secure and resilient domestic battery supply chain to reach our clean energy and transportation future,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The historic investments of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are making it possible for cross-sector collaboration that will fuel America’s technological breakthroughs and eliminate our overreliance on other nations to meet our clean energy goals.”
Projects funded will lead to second-use scale-up demonstrations that integrate end-of-life EV batteries into secondary applications. This includes stationary energy storage systems and projects that focus on advanced materials separation, scale-up, and reintegration of lithium-ion battery materials.
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