USDA FY2022 Composting and Food Waste Reduction Pilot Project Grants

USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) is soliciting applications from eligible entities to host Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) pilot projects. These projects benefit and improve a community’s food waste and food production programs, especially in minority communities.

The CFWR program aims to develop and test planning strategies and implement municipal compost and food waste reduction plans. Eligible projects can be in rural, urban, and suburban communities.

Applications must be submitted through by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 15, 2023.

Total grant funding is estimated to be $9,500,000. The funding floor for this opportunity is $55,000, and the funding ceiling is $400,000 per project.

Eligible Entities
The following entities are eligible to apply for this grant:

  • City or Township Governments
  • County Governments
  • Independent School Districts
  • Native American Tribal Governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American Tribal Organizations, including State-Designated Native American Tribes
  • Special District Governments
  • Municipal Governments
  • Renewal or supplemental applications for existing projects meeting any of the above criteria

Eligible Projects
OUAIP will accept project proposals that address at least one of the following:

  • Generate compost
  • Increase access to compost for agriculture producers
  • Reduce reliance on, and limit the use of fertilizer
  • Improve soil quality
  • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development
  • Increase rainwater absorption
  • Reduce municipal food waste, and
  • Divert residential and commercial food waste from landfills

Research proposals will not be considered!

Additional Project Guidance
In addition to the eligible projects listed above, applicants are encouraged to address environmental justice priorities, racial equality, climate, investment in disadvantaged communities, and climate-smart agricultural practices as part of their application. Priority will go to projects that include the following elements:

  • Demonstrate economic benefits for the targeted community
  • Incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to agricultural producers, including community and school gardens or urban producers
  • Integrate food waste reduction strategies and recovery efforts such as food gleaning, storage, and preservation techniques; and
  • Include a plan that engages and collaborates with multiple partners.

How to Apply
The following is an overview of information from the USDA on the funding opportunity. Note that several steps are required, and it is recommended this process start immediately as considerable time may be required.

Required Steps

  1. Obtain Tax Identification Number/Employer Identification Number (TIN/EIN) from IRS if not already done — IRS website
  2. Obtain Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) if not already done —
  3. Register with
  4. Register with
    1. Add profile
    2. Authorize an “Authorized Organization Representative” (AOR)
  5. Submit CFWR Application in


Required Documents

  • Project Proposal (PDF or Word Document)
  • Standard Form-424 – Application for Federal Assistance (
  • Standard Form-424A – Budget Information, Non-Construction (
  • Budget Narrative
  • Verification of Matching Funds Letter for Each Resource
  • Letters of Contribution from partners/collaborative organizations
  • Certification and Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

Other Documents (If Applicable)

  • Form SF-424C – Budget Information, Construction (
  • Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (PDF)

For a more detailed outline of the required application components, refer to pages 9–17 of the USDA’s CFWR Pilot Projects PDF. file:///C:/Users/0948dlm/Downloads/FINAL%20-%20USDA-NRCS-NHQ-CFWR-22-NOFO0001179%206-3-2022.pdf

Evaluation Criteria
Applications will be evaluated for award based on the following criteria:

  • The degree to which the proposal is consistent with CFWR’s purpose and priorities
  • Project relevance
  • The degree to which the plan successfully demonstrates the potential for a significant positive impact on existing food waste reduction strategies
  • The degree to which the project anticipates or demonstrates economic efficiency
  • Quality of the plan for collaborating with multiple partners

We Can Help!
Our Sustainable Materials Management team is ready to support your grant application efforts. We can work with you to assess this opportunity, prepare a successful proposal, and, or provide a peer review of your grant application.

SCS Engineers is a national environmental consulting and contracting company with local organics and material diversion experts. Our team of professionals works with many public and private sector clients throughout the country to help them solve their organic material management challenges and find effective solutions.

National Compost Expert: Greg McCarron, PE

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