MPCA grants aim to strengthen demand for recyclable materials

Contact: Lauren Lewandowski, 612-270-9615

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (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.

Recognized as a national leader, Minnesota’s recycling manufacturing industry is 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. This new Recycling Market Development Grants program was approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2019 to ensure the recycling market remains strong and to protect jobs.

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.

Applications are due Friday, May 29, 2020. See the request for proposals for eligibility details, including who may apply, grant match amounts, and more. Applicants may submit questions and the questions and answers will be posted regularly on the MPCA Recycling market development grant web page.