Minnesota to invest another $400,000 to help companies expand recycling markets

Contact: Lucie Amundsen, 218-302-6600

On the heels of America Recycles Day, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications for $400,000 in available grants to help Minnesota organizations increase their use of recycled materials. Each year, Minnesota recycling programs collect approximately 2.5 million tons of recyclable material, worth nearly $700 million.

The MPCA’s recycling market grants develop and strengthen local markets for recyclable materials. These grants support projects that aim to build lasting capacity in Minnesota’s recycling markets by:

  • Upgrading value-added technology that sorts, washes, and otherwise prepares recyclables for market
  • Increasing recycling feedstock value and end market capacity, diverting recyclable materials from disposal, and creating/maintaining jobs in Minnesota
  • Covering soft costs, such as engineering studies, equipment installation, and developing project proposals, that lending institutions may be reluctant to finance
  • Supporting established businesses that may be impacted by recent economic shifts in supply needs

In a change from last round of grants, colleges and universities are now eligible recipients. Applicants must also answer more questions about how their projects support environmental justice.

Minnesota currently has approximately 37,000 jobs in the recycling industry, and that number continues to grow. The recycling market grants are meant to keep recycling markets viable and expand the sector to ensure processors and manufacturers can cover their costs. In its first grant round, which closed in May, the MPCA received 11 applications requesting a total of $1.5 million. The first-round grant awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

Preference will be given to projects that use materials identified as priorities — glass, mixed paper, organics, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and plastic film.

See the request for proposals for full details on who may apply, grant match amounts, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal. The application deadline is January 8, 2021.