You drop your newspaper, can, or bottle into a recycling bin. But do you know what happens next?
From your bin, those materials make their way to a nearby recycling facility, and next off to a manufacturer that can use that material to make a new product — a new can, a lawn chair, steel siding, and more. Recognized as a national leader, Minnesota’s manufacturing companies that use recycled material represent an important contributor to the state’s economy. In recent years, the industry has supported more than 60,000 jobs and more than $3.4 billion in wages. But in the wake of China refusing to import U.S. recyclables, recycling markets are fragile. Though Minnesota boasts many businesses that use recycled materials to manufacture new products, it’s still possible for markets to destabilize in the current international climate.
Without a strong market and the recycling collection that supports it, we can lose the environmental benefits of recycling — clear, cleaner air and water, less consumption of raw materials and energy, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The MPCA is now offering grants designed to help create a strong, sustainable market for recyclable materials. The MPCA will award a total of $400,000 in amounts from $50,000 to $250,000, to Minnesota businesses or organizations that use recyclable materials in their products. The goal is to help increase both demand for and value of such materials, while also keeping items out of landfills and creating jobs in Minnesota.
Businesses and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to submit proposals for projects, including research, development, and testing of new or existing recyclable materials as the basis for products. Grants will also support businesses looking to expand their use of recyclable materials with new equipment, facilities, or production methods.
Proposals that increase use of mixed paper, glass, or organics will be given priority, but projects using any type of recyclable material will be considered. Applicants must operate a business in Minnesota or have plans for a facility in the state. Local governmental units are also eligible if their project will result in increased use of recyclable materials. Applicants must match at least 25% of the grant award.
How to apply
See the request for proposals (RFP) for full details on eligibility: who may apply, grant match amounts, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal. The request for proposal and other information is available on MPCA’s Recycling market development grant webpage: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/waste/grant-recycling-markets
- Application deadline: May 29, 2020
- Total funds: Approximately $400,000
- Awards: Maximum $250,000; minimum $50,000
- Match requirement: 25% (applicants must provide at least 25% match of the grant award)
Applicants may submit questions and the questions and answers will be posted regularly on the MPCA Recycling market development grant web page.