PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $4.5 million this week from President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expand recycling infrastructure and waste management systems across Maryland.
EPA has selected one community in Maryland to receive a grant of $4 million under the newly created Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling funding opportunity. In addition, the agency is making available approximately $500,000 for Maryland to improve recycling, and organics collection and management. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment is a part of EPA’s largest recycling investment in 30 years.
The grants support the implementation of EPA’s National Recycling Strategy to build an economy devoted to keeping materials, products, and services in circulation for as long as possible – what’s known as a “circular economy.”
“I am committed to ensuring that the federal government is a solid partner with state and local governments in reducing waste and implementing management strategies that are inclusive of communities,” said Senator Cardin. “By resourcing critical infrastructure like composting facilities and recycling programs, we can create quality jobs and protect Maryland’s air, water and land.”
“We fought to pass the infrastructure modernization law to rebuild everything from our roads and bridges to our outdated recycling and waste management systems. These investments will boost our efforts to reduce pollution while deploying more sustainable recycling and composting capabilities across Baltimore and the state,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“The Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda is addressing environmental challenges throughout our nation, and this is another historic investment to address waste management issues in our local communities,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “These additional resources are critical to improving recycling efforts, preventing waste, and improving reuse capabilities that will address climate change, support local economies, and help build a cleaner Maryland.”
“This Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant award from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency will be critical asset that will empower the City of Baltimore to move closer to reaching our sustainability and equity goals. As we continue our all-of-the-above approach to combatting the climate crisis and improving city services at the same time. Through this grant award, we will have the ability to develop a solar-powered composting facility that will create jobs and make investments in a historically underserved area of our City. I want to thank the EPA for their support in this process, and look forward to continuing our collaboration and partnership on this project,” said Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott.
President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
EPA’s Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program is also advancing President’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Approximately $56 million out of the $73 million – or 76% – of the total funding for communities will go toward projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.
Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants for Communities
The recycling grants for communities will support improvements to waste management systems across the country. The SWIFR for Communities grant located in Maryland that was selected for award is:
- $4 million for Bowley’s Lane Composting Facility: The City of Baltimore will develop a new composting facility co-located with the new East Side Transfer Station at Bowley’s Lane. Establishing this composting capacity will prevent organic materials from being landfilled or burned, reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses and other toxic pollutants emitted in South Baltimore, where many industrial waste processing facilities are currently located, creating a disproportionate environmental impact on low-income communities. Additionally, this facility will be solar powered, effectively reducing long-term energy costs, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing Baltimore’s dependence on combustion-based power.
Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants for States and Territories
The recycling grants for states and territories will provide funding to all 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will receive $551,877 to advance post-consumer materials management by addressing market development and identifying pathways to improve recycling and organics collection and management. MDE will identify gaps in the state’s recycling infrastructure through analysis of current Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) commodity collection tonnage and existing processing infrastructure. MDE will coordinate a comprehensive review of commercial waste generated within the state and commodities returned for recyclable content manufacturing. MDE will also identify source reduction and reuse applications to fortify the need for specific infrastructure within urban environments to drive a circular economy and prevent waste generated in overburdened and underserved communities.
These grants represent important steps toward achieving the EPA’s National Recycling Goal and Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal. Fundable activities under this grant program included improving post-consumer materials management programs through developing or updating solid waste management plans and strengthening data collection efforts.
This week’s announcement for states, territories, and communities is the first round of funding from this new grant program. In the coming months, EPA will announce the selected recipients of the recycling grants for Tribes and intertribal consortia, as well as the recipients of EPA’s new Recycling Education and Outreach grant program.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $275 million total from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2026 for grants authorized under the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act – the largest investment in recycling in 30 years. The recycling grants are supplemented with additional funding provided through EPA’s annual appropriations. EPA has selected these entities to receive funding for recycling infrastructure projects and anticipates making all the awards announced this week once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.
For details about the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program selectees and other Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-related funding opportunities, visit the EPA recycling grants webpage.