Indiana awards $1M in grants to expand municipal, commercial recycling

Dive Brief:

  • Indiana's Department of Environmental Management's Recycling Market Development Program (RMDP) has awarded $1 million in grants for eight recipients as part of a larger $2 million investment in the state's recycling markets, as reported by the Kokomo Herald.
  • Two plastic recyclers each received $250,000, followed by approximately $180,000 for the Lake County Solid Waste Management District to start a composting program and $118,000 for the city of Shelbyville to start a curbside recycling program. Four other smaller grants were given to companies such as Rumpke and other local operations to expand recycling capacity or better manage certain material streams.
  • The RMDP was established more than 20 years ago to help develop recycling markets and is open to any municipality, nonprofit or business in the state. Grants range from $1,000 to $500,000 and require a 50% match.

Dive Insight:

By investing in regional commercials operations as well as local programs, these grants may help expand recycling capabilities on a larger level in the state. Many of the grants are geared toward specific material streams that have been popular areas of focus on a national level.

The composting program in Lake County will be using a system in which the organic material is frozen during transport, which could be an interesting model for facilities dealing with odor issues. The Indiana Recycling Coalition and Strategic Materials will be working to start a glass collection program four four business districts within the central part of the state to collect less contaminated material from bars and restaurants. Plastic Recycling 2 will be purchasing equipment to begin recycling foam and rigid plastic food containers, which many facilities can't normally handle. East-Terra Plastics will be initiating a statewide processing and marketing project for agricultural plastics collection, similar to what has been done in other Midwestern states.

Indiana's diversion rate lags far behind the state's 50% goal as well as current rates in many other parts of the country. With further funding, the Indiana will have the opportunity to catch up with other states working toward their own higher diversion rate goals.

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Filed Under: Corporate News Recycling Waste Diversion