funding organics

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

January 2, 2024

waste management carbon credits
Voluntary carbon credits provide compost and anaerobic digestion facilities with an additional source of income, complementing tipping fees and sales of final products.


Carbon credits can be a reliable and lucrative source of revenue for organic waste management facilities in addition to more traditional revenue sources. Voluntary carbon credits provide compost and anaerobic digestion facilities with an additional source of income, complementing tipping fees and sales of final products. Carbon credits are issued, bought, and sold in carbon markets in a broader effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) establishes carbon credit standards, guidelines, and values (Climate Reserve Tonnes or CRTs).

Participation in voluntary carbon markets, mines, landfills, compost facilities, and anaerobic digestion facilities can generate additional revenue while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Is your project eligible for carbon credits? 

There are two main types of carbon markets: regulatory and voluntary. Regulatory carbon markets require mandatory participation. Voluntary carbon markets provide carbon offset credits for qualifying products that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a baseline level. Each voluntary market defines its baseline and qualifications for offset projects. Offset credits can then be sold. Within voluntary carbon markets, eligible organic waste management and landfill projects can participate in generating carbon credits.

Project developers can enter into purchase/sale agreements and single-year or multi-year partnerships with buyers to secure evaluated carbon prices. The project developer does not need to guarantee credit quantities, as the brokerage assumes responsibility for managing the credits over a specific period and guarantees a price per credit. The brokerage markets any amount exceeding the agreed-upon price per credit to potential buyers. This option provides more long-term pricing stability.

Climate Action Reserve (CAR)

CAR is a nonprofit organization that promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through market-based policies and solutions. CAR serves as an approved Offset Project Registry (OPR) for the State of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program and is integral in supporting the issuance and administration of compliance offsets.

CAR also establishes standards for voluntary offset projects in the North American voluntary carbon market. It operates as a publicly accessible registry for carbon credits generated under its standards. CAR has eight voluntary offset protocols for waste handling and methane destruction projects in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They assist, advise, and register clients with voluntary offset projects.

SCS has partnered with clients to pursue voluntary offset projects in Organic Waste Composting and Organic Waste Digestion protocols. Contact SCS Engineers at or Greg McCarron on LinkedIn to learn how your project may qualify.

Additional Video Resources

Series: Part II – Planning and Development of a Public Compost Facility

Series: Part III – Climate Action Reserve Organic Waste Digestion Project Protocol






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am