DEEP Announces Request for Applications for Sustainable Materials Management Grant Funding
Expression of Interest Form Due Oct. 29, Virtual Grant Information Session Sept. 28
(HARTFORD, CT) —The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to announce that the State of Connecticut is making several million dollars in grant funds and technical assistance available to Connecticut municipalities and regional waste authorities to support sustainable materials management (SMM) efforts in direct response to the solid waste disposal crisis that Connecticut municipalities are facing.
Connecticut is facing a solid waste disposal crisis, as traditional options for disposing of municipal solid waste (MSW) are diminishing or becoming more expensive. With fewer and rapidly aging disposal options in the state, residents and municipal leaders can expect tipping fees to increase at the remaining in-state waste-to-energy facilities, along with rates for out-of-state landfilling.
The SMM grant program is designed to incent municipalities and regional entities interested in pursuing the implementation and scale-up of unit-based pricing (UBP) and food scrap collection programs, which have the potential to significantly reduce disposal tonnage and associated tip fees.
“These strategies are proven, highly effective solid waste management solutions that will help reduce costs and environmental impacts associated with municipal solid waste disposal,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “They were among the key strategies identified by the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management to implement at scale in order to reduce and manage the amount of in-state waste we produce. Thank you to Gov. Lamont and the State Legislature for making this funding available through the Governor’s Budget. This is the largest investment—up to $5 million—that the state has made to date in cost-effective, sustainable alternatives to waste disposal, and DEEP is eager to put these dollars to work as incentives for municipalities and regional entities to implement programs that will achieve greater system reliability, environmental sustainability, and fiscal predictability.”
Unit-based pricing, a method of charging for trash disposal based on the amount disposed, is globally recognized as the single most effective action a municipality can take to reduce waste, increase recycling, and reduce climate impact. According to a WasteZero study, New England communities such as Stonington, CT that implement unit-based pricing programs throw away 40-60% less waste than communities without such programs.
Additionally, according to a 2015 study, 35% of what residents throw away is organic material—food scraps and yard waste—that can be donated, composted, and processed into animal feed.Supporting these strategies will help to alleviate the state’s waste disposal crisis by reducing the amount of MSW tonnage that may be disposed of at out-of-state landfills as in-state, waste-to-energy capacity declines. These strategies also help to advance the statewide 60% diversion rate set forth in the Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy(CMMS).
SMM grant funds will be available for individual and groups of municipalities, Connecticut regional entities(council of governments, regional planning agencies, resource recovery authority, recycling operating committees, or other entity representing Connecticut municipalities). Eligible applicants must first submit theExpression of Interest Microsoft Word form, which can be found, along with the Request for Application document, on the Municipal and Regional Grants and Technical Assistance webpage. DEEP staff will review all the Expression of Interest forms submitted by the deadline, October 29, 2021, and applicants are invited to work with DEEP’s technical assistance provider during the application process to develop a long-term strategy for implementing UBP and/or food scrap collection/ diversion efforts.
Project proposals must include long-term implementation strategies for sustained waste reduction and diversion. Preference will be given to projects with potential for the highest waste reduction in a short timeframe.
An information session via ZOOM will be held to address questions about the grant program online on September 28 from 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m., click here to register for the information session. Questions about the RFA may be submitted to DEEP.RecyclingProgram@ct.gov.