Recycling Grants Available to Support Local Programs

HARRISBURG – Municipal recycling programs that boost Pennsylvania’s economy and protect its environment are invited to apply for the latest round of recycling development and implementation grants.

“Recycling is an important tool in improving the state economy, protecting its environment and reducing energy consumption,” Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said. “Pennsylvania is already a leader in recycling and, to keep the state’s programs strong, we are investing in local programs to help them become financially self-sustaining.”

To be eligible for recycling development and implementation grants, applicants must submit a plan that includes actions and strategies for optimizing a program’s self-sufficiency. The plan should include strategies for reducing costs and generating revenues, provisions for establishing waste reduction and recycling incentives, mechanisms for public outreach and stakeholder input, and methods to document progress.

Grants of up to $500,000 are available, and applications must be received or postmarked by June 20. Funding priorities for the program include:

• Incentive-based pricing and collection programs designed to increase the quantities and types of recyclable materials, and reduce the quantity of waste collected;

• Curbside, residential collection vehicles that utilize alternatives or supplements to petroleum for fuel;

• Multi-municipal collection, processing and materials marketing programs; and

• Equipment and education programs to collect and/or process fibrous materials like corrugated cardboard, junk mail and mixed paper that currently is not included in the applicant’s recycling program.

DEP commissioned a technical report titled Building Financially Sustainable Recycling Programs to provide assistance to local governments in developing methods and strategies for reducing costs and growing revenues. The report identifies options and practical steps to move programs toward improving financial sustainability.

The financial stability of Pennsylvania’s recycling programs is important to the state’s economy and its environment. In 2005, Pennsylvanians recycled a record 4.86 million tons of municipal waste, saving consumers and industries nearly $263 million in disposal costs and providing businesses with materials valued at $577 million. The commonwealth’s recycling and reuse industry includes more than 3,200 establishments with total annual sales of $18.4 billion. The industry employs more than 81,000 people and has an annual payroll of $2.9 billion. Additionally, these businesses add more than $305 million in taxes to the state treasury.

The environmental benefits of recycling extend far beyond diverting materials from landfills and incinerators. Recycling saves energy, reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources as compared to manufacturing items with virgin materials.

For more information on the grant program or the Building Financially Sustainable Recycling Programs report, visit here, keyword: Recycling. Click on “Grants” for a copy of the recycling development and implementation grant application.

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