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$1 million available to fund food waste reduction

EGLE seeks proposals for Organics Infrastructure Grant program

As the State of Michigan recognizes Compost Awareness Week through May 11, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Recycling Unit is announcing a $1 million pool of grants for infrastructure projects to increase access to food waste diversion and increase the state’s food waste composting and recycling rate.

EGLE’s Materials Management Division (MMD) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to solicit projects for food waste collection and processing. The EGLE Organics Infrastructure Grant program, enabled by the Renew Michigan Fund, advances EGLE’s priorities of equitable support to Michigan communities and advancing Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s climate change priorities as expressed in the MI Healthy Climate Plan (MHCP) goal of a prosperous, healthy, equitable, carbon-neutral Michigan by 2050.

Food waste composting decreases greenhouse gases by improving carbon sequestration, or storage, in the soil and reducing methane emissions from landfills. As reported in Resource Recycling Systems’ 2021 Recycling Gap Analysis, achieving the MHCP target of a 45% recycling rate in Michigan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year. This corresponds to the annual energy use of more than 760,000 households or the annual emissions of nearly 1.5 million passenger vehicles.

These grants also will facilitate the safe management of waste materials and help maintain the flow of vital raw materials for Michigan businesses. Increasing access to recycling opportunities also saves water and energy and creates jobs.

The organics grant program is open to nonprofits, tribal governments, school districts, universities and colleges, local health departments and governments, regional planning agencies, municipal solid waste and resource recovery authorities, businesses, corporations, and private-sector entities in Michigan.

Eligible proposals include but are not limited to implementing curbside food waste carts, creating or enhancing drop-off food waste collection, public-space food waste collection containers, school food waste collection and processing, food waste collection vehicles, multifamily food waste collection projects, and food waste processing projects. Ineligible projects include household hazardous waste projects, electronic waste recycling projects, scrap tire recycling projects, and one-day collection events.

The RFP is open for applications through 5 p.m. Aug. 28, and the expected grant period is Nov. 29, 2024, through Sept. 30, 2027. To be eligible, proposals must:

  • Increase access to food waste diversion infrastructure while building diversity, equity, and inclusion across Michigan.
  • Increase the collection and processing capacity for food waste diversion.
  • Increase the participation rate in existing food waste diversion programs.

The grant program will prioritize:

  • Proposals with the largest projected increases in processing or collection capacity volume and/or access and participation.
  • Proposals with sustainable funding mechanisms in place.
  • Projects that currently provide or propose robust, continuing education programs.
  • Applicants with demonstrated ability to collaborate and partner with other groups and organizations.
  • Proposals that leverage concurrent project funding from other sources.
  • Proposals that support Governor Whitmer’s climate change priorities through measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Proposals that will benefit an Environmental Justice community or underserved and vulnerable populations within a community.

Grant requests may range from $5,000-$250,000. Applicants must provide a complete budget, and grants will be for reimbursement: costs must be incurred and paid in advance.

Applicants are required to pledge matching funds equal to at least 20% of the total grant budget.

Grantees may be offered partial funding, and EGLE may add or subtract money from the EGLE Organics Infrastructure Grant program at its discretion.

Questions about the RFP should be directed to EGLE Department Analyst Arthur Taylor, Any written answers to questions, changes, and/or clarifications will be posted at

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