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$2 Million in Grants Can Boost Recycling in Indiana

compacted cans_Steven Penton.jpg
Steven Penton
Baled, compacted cans for recycling.

Private businesses, local governments, solid waste management districts have until June 15 to apply

To boost the economy and promote recycling, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) offers an annual grant for between $50,000 and $500,000.

Private businesses, local governments and solid waste management districts are invited to apply — but only about half can be funded according to IDEM Section Chief Patricia Daniel.

“We award on average about $2 million lately, each year," she said. "The request and the need for the dollars usually exceeds $4.5 to $5 million."

States are federally required to work toward moving 50-percent of solid waste into recycling streams; Indiana is at 20 percent. Daniel said these grants are designed to also boost the economy.

“This funding helps Indiana businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and solid waste management districts build these markets for recyclables through economic development opportunities. It promotes the use of recycled content products, and it moves materials past collection and actually into the marketplace. And finally, it helps to encourage businesses to reduce waste.”

Grants funds are commonly used for expensive equipment like cardboard balers or high tech optical equipment to speed up sorting plastics.

So far 116 projects have been funded with around eight point eight million dollars since 2008.

According to IDEM, a 'solid waste management district' (SWMD) is a local county’s authority for information about recycling, yard waste and household hazardous waste services.