Organics Diversion – Find a Grant Program

February 28, 2024

Grant Programs - Organics Diversion


Organics diversion is a hot topic, highlighting the need for more recycling to help communities benefit from methane emission reductions and decarbonization. Methane emissions from organic waste, such as food and plants, are largely preventable and comprise a significant portion of the U.S. waste stream. That makes actions to reduce these emissions popular, such as diverting waste from landfills, establishing recycling and composting programs, and energy recovery from organic materials – they create social and economic opportunities. At the same time, the programs make significant progress toward climate action goals.

Federal Grant Funding

The U.S. government has grant funding available to assist state and local government and non-profit organizations in increasing organic diversion. Currently, several agencies and departments have grants available. These are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Finding the Right Grant

ReFED has partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to develop a Federal Grants Database to provide a centralized place to identify funding. The Resources and Guides | ReFED database provides the grant name, the agency, a description, the deadlines, the eligibility, a link to the grant, and other useful information.

EPA’s current grant programs are:

  • Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grants (SWIFR)
  • Recycling Education and Outreach Grants

At least eight of the SWIFR grants are organics-related, and the communities that are taking advantage of them are as follows:

  • City of Stamford, Connecticut – $2,016,941 for food scrap collection and compost project
  • City of Providence, Rhode Island – $3,348,166 to expand food waste diversion and recycling infrastructure.
  • Chemung County, New Jersey – $1,697,250 for a new compost facility
  • Municipality of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico – $4,000,000 to expand curbside recycling and organics collection.
  • City of Baltimore, Maryland – $4,000,000 to develop a composting facility.
  • City of Iowa City, Iowa – $4,000,000 to expand composting facility.
  • City of Bozeman, Montana – $1,6505,660 for residential collection infrastructure for organic diversion.
  • City of Logan, Utah – $4,000,000 to expand composting.
  • Hawai’i County Hawai’i – $1,522,130 for reusable foodware infrastructure
  • City of Ontario, California – $3,571,064 to optimize materials management infrastructure and digital food donation marketplace.
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska – $3,540,340 to create a compost facility and collection network.

More details on each of these projects are here.

EPA also has the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants that the states and other regional authorities will administer. The states and regional authorities are developing their implementation plans for these grants. SCS Engineers expects food scrap and composting projects to be some of the many projects eligible for these grants. 

DOE has two grant programs:

  • Waste-to-energy technical assistance for local governments and
  • BIL for energy improvements in rural or remote areas (ERA). Organics projects must include a clean energy component such as biogas utilization to quality.

USDA has several grant opportunities related to food waste, including:

  • USDA Solid Waste Assistance grants and
  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems competitive grants.

In January, the USDA announced an investment of approximately $11.5 million in 38 cooperative agreements that support innovative, scalable waste management plans to reduce and divert food waste from landfills. The Composting and Food Waste Reduction cooperative agreements, which the American Rescue Plan Act funds, are part of USDA’s broad support for urban agriculture.

Among the projects, the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority proposes to construct and operate southeastern Connecticut’s first and only commercial-scale food waste composting facility, creating the necessary infrastructure to divert the region’s organic material from the municipal solid waste stream, generate a local source of high-quality compost, and increase awareness of the importance of food waste reduction and recycling. SCS assisted with the design and permitting of this project.

The USDA’s Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) provides grants to help eligible applicants increase or expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the United States. The Compost Crew in Maryland has received tentative notice of funding for a new compost facility. SCS assisted with the design of this project.

For States and Communities Getting Started

Historically, feasibility studies and pilot programs make excellent first steps toward decarbonization, recycling, composting, and zero waste programs. Many states and communities start with waste composition and feasibility studies or pilot programs.

Truly sustainable programs balance economic, environmental, and social factors to ensure they work long-term and comply with grant terms. These services are available from reputable sustainable materials management engineers and consultants who understand all aspects of solid waste management and federal and local air, water, and soil regulations.


Additional Resources:


Dana Blumberg (Murray)About the Author: Dana Murray Blumberg, PE, is SCS Engineers’ Vice President for International Services and our National Expert on Federal Services. She has three decades of professional experience in civil/environmental engineering, including landfill gas emissions modeling and collection system design; landfill gas energy technology evaluation, feasibility analysis, energy user outreach and analysis; landfill closures; transfer station design and construction; and stormwater hydrology and hydraulics.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am